1. Dance Imagery for Technique and Performance
I use this book all the time. There are so many great ideas and images to share with students in class and it is set up in a way that allows one to reference things quickly. Although, I do not own it, I understand that Franklin’s Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery, is excellent as well.
2. Dance Kinesiology
3. Creative Dance for All Ages: A Conceptual Approach
Another college textbook, this has proven an invaluable reference and guide for, not only teaching creative dance classes but, for working with children in general.
4. Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet
They’ve recently updated the look of this book but it still holds up as a great reference for ballet terminology.
5. The Pointe Book: Shoes, Training & Technique Second Edition
I have the first edition but, I’ve often shared information from this book with ballet and pointe students and parents. It’s a concise overview of history, training, shoe care, and more.
6. The Art of Making Dances
There are several quality choreography books out there. However, this guide is great for it’s simplicity. A helpful tool for dance crafters and those teach composition.
7. Ballet and Modern Dance: A Concise History
Another one that was a college text and that’s been around a while. It is great for developing a basic understanding of the dance history timeline and discovering major influences and players in theatrical dance.
8. Physics and the Art of Dance: Understanding Movement
Kenneth Laws’ presentation of dance as it relates to physics might change the way you dance or teach!
9. Choreography: A Basic Approach Using Improvisation
A bit more colorful than Humphrey’s book, with lots of solid, beginning improvisation and compositional techniques, this is one I’ve used and shared with students a lot.
Today I posed the following question to some of the lovely folks that follow me on Twitter.
What is one dance book or reference you couldn’t live without?
Here are some of their replies.
@amej Valerie Preston-Dunlop’s Looking at Dances. Incredibly insightful, inspiring and beautifully written.
Dunlop’s book is not available at Amazon but you can read more about her and her works at her website. Click here.
@cpmomcat One dance reference I would want on hand: George Balanchine’s Complete Stories of the Great Ballets
This book has been through a few revisions over the years. The older versions may be a bit harder to obtain. 101 Stories of the Great Ballets seems to be a condensed version of the original. It claims to offer the most popular ballets, old and new. But of course, this final volume was written in 1975.
@love2d I gotta say Martha Graham’s Blood Memory was truly inspiring for me, and Psychology Of Dance really interesting and useful.
Blood Memory is Graham’s autobiography. Again, this is a collectible so you may want to check out your local or college library to see if they have a copy. Psychology of Dance is on my wishlist.
@love2d If I can add another one: Dancing – the all in one guide for dancers, teachers and parents. More interesting information.
Dancing: The Pleasure, Power, and Art of Movement, could be the book mentioned here. Or, it could be Dancing: The Indispensable Gude, also mentioned by @sarah_rose.
Thanks to all my twitter pals that took the time to offer their responses. If you are a Twitterer? Tweeter? Twit?, be sure to check out these birds of a feather. And, make sure you stop by and say hello @danceadvantage!
What are some dance books YOU can’t live without?
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.