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Modern Ballroom Dancing: All the Steps You Need to Get You Dancing Paperback – May 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books; New Ed edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570763089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570763083
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Very useful indeed" Julian Clary --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Long one of the most popular activities in the world, dancing brings pleasure to millions as well as the benefits of physical and mental relaxation, exercise, and social poise. If you haven't had the opportunity to learn, Victor Silvester's best-selling book provides all you need to know. Featuring dazzling photos of some of the world's greatest dancers, this is a definitive handbook, complete with notes, diagrams, and steps for every dance. The four classics—Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, and Tango—are all covered, as are the standard Latin-American dances—Rumba, Samba, Cha-Cha- Cha, Paso Doble—as well as Jive, Rock ' n' Roll, and Disco dancing. Invaluable for beginners, advanced students, and teachers alike, this classic work shows the way to a world of enjoyment that will last a lifetime.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By jekim@hsph.harvard.edu on September 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I looked high and low for a ballroom dance book that I could recommend to my fellow ballroom dancers at Harvard. Most of the literature tended to be either too simplistic (for novices) or too boring (ISTD manuals). I especially loved the format of the book and the beautiful photographs of competition dancers. The foot patterns and detailed descriptions are helpful for the non-novice dancer. One big plus of this publication is that the author describes Silver & Gold patterns.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Victor I. Poon on March 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a pretty good book for anyone who's currently taking lessons in International-style dancing. It goes through all 10 dances used in International Rhythm and Smooth competition. The author presents about 12 or more variations in each dance. There are foot diagrams for about half the variations. He details the footwork (written), contrary body movement, timing, sway and amount of turn. All of the photos are of competitors at a dance event so they're not helpful if you're trying to learn how any figure looks. I don't think it's a book to buy if you're starting to learn how to dance but if you're already taking lessons, it's a good book to reinforce what you're learning. American-style is not covered at all.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eduardo Antico on January 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have both the Victor Silvester book and Alex Moore's ISTD ballroom manual. I personally find the ISTD manual more compact, and a lot better organized. It is a little more expensive than Silvester, and it also has no pictures, but it is much more useful in my opinion.

The Victor Silvester book is a ballroom instructor's manual with pictures, and the reader's understanding of the material will be exponentially proportional to his prior experience. That is, the beginners will not find it useful at all, while the intermediate and advanced dancers will be able to learn quite a bit from it. The pictures and figures are more like eye candy, as they are taken from dance competitions. They are not used to illustrate the steps.

Although the book covers all ballroom steps from beginner to gold, it doesn't tell you which one is which. Also, it only covers up to latin bronze steps, and does not explain essential concepts such as Cuban motion and samba bounce. Unlike the other manuals, the Victor Silvester book also go over the basic steps for Viennese Waltz and (huh huh ...) disco. These steps are fairly basic. If the user are already at the level at which he can learn from the book, I doubt these steps would be too challenging.

Also, a word of warning for the prospective dancers. I have seen (and met) a lot of people who try to learn from the book directly, only to be discouraged by the less than desirable results. What a lot of these books won't tell you, or at least convey effectively, are the fundamental aspects of partnered dancing, such as posture, communication, movement, and body connections. These aspects have to be taught and shown by a qualified instructor, because these points can't simply be put in words and are fundamental to all partnered dancing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ravi M Kumar on September 19, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book to compliment my dance instruction. Being that I take lessons in Japan, I needed a book, in English, which would reinforce and further explain what was being taught to me in class. I have found it a very useful book. However, this is not a book for a beginning dancer! The explanations and footwork patterns are detailed, but if you have no experience with ballroom dancing, the figures and explanations will mean very little to you.
Some of the more complicated steps do not have foot diagrams, which would have been helpful. All and all, an excellent book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
This text is a very good reference for International style dancing. It is very complete and conforms fairly well to the syllabus. As stated by other reviewers, if you're a beginner its probably too much, but if you have a good teacher nearby to help explain some of the ambiguities you can learn a lot on your own from it. Definitely not a book that you can just pick up and start dancing, it requires some intellectual effort to digest, but once you've done that you'll have a clear and systematic conceptualization and schema for dancing that few teachers can impart. My only major complaint: an excess of glossy pictures from dancing competitions. This book is really most helpful for the standard dances (which is OK with me since that's my style, not latin.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By URJUSTA@webtv.net on August 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
One of the better books on dancing and descriptions of figures.Assumes you know something about dancing and has many hint and reminders for the experenced dancer.Now if they would just re-publish Henry Jacques masterpiece,instructors and dancers would really benefit with a dance book.
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