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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ballroom Dancing Paperback – September 5, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
My main complaint is that it can sometimes be a bit difficult to read, to follow. And there really should be a glossary of terms in the back, I had a difficult time finding what various acronyms meant.
It's not really a book you can open up to, say, the section on the foxtrot and just learn how to do the foxtrot without first reading the rest of the book. It's meant to be read from start to finish before you begin learning any particular dance.
There is a ridiculous review titled "Mediocore At Best" by a reviewer (generous categorization) named "Page Turner" as in someone who turns pages. This person can read a 300 plus page book in two days while comprehending all the nuances and idiosyncrasies of Ballroom & Latin dancing enough to say that, probably the best and most comprehensive book available on these subjects, is only mediocre.
If there is any book out there on the subject that accommodates a student taking dance lessons better than The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ballroom Dancing I' d like to own it. The truth is, there isn't - this book is the finest and most accurate for the American style of dancing on the market place. It covers the beginnings of 11 dances and has a wonderfully compiled music CD for each dance. There is great information for wedding couples and there families. The book has a terrific condensed history of Ballroom dancing as well as the structure and framing required for the beginner dancer. I thought it was a great idea to present to the beginner all the major things required of the individual to contribute to the couple to make the dance partnership work! The treatment and techniques of the dances themselves with plenty of photos showing the major positions of each dance figure come next. They are complied in three sections - Smooth; Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, and Viennese Waltz, then the Latin- Rumba (the foundational Latin dance), Merengue, Samba, Cha-cha, and then Mambo (substitute Salsa and for the beginner there is little difference!Read more ›
Scattered throughout the text, Jeff very effectively uses logo-symboled information boxes to add interest and pointed tips. Eschewing the usual foot diagrams for patterns, text and pictures do the job. The excellent introductory diagram of Line of Dance and the 11 dance music CD is arguably worth the cost of the book.
Beginning with the history of the original "close" dancing position of partners, the author traces the evolvement of ballroom dancing in a very unique way - the impact exerted by national economies, mores and wars.
The ceremonial wedding dance is covered as the point of beginning for many people and it traces natural evolvement from that point. Reasons to dance for men, women and the shy are given through to the relationship and foreplay factors.
Physically and mentally meeting the challenges of ballroom dancing are listed, then music, timing, rhythm, movement and position.
"The Plain Truth about Practicing, Expectations, and Prioritization" is a section not usually covered in dance books, but should be; the discussion of "Creating a Dance Couple" is quite germane to those not locked in a high-level partnership.
The author approaches Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Rumba, Merengue, Samba, Cha-Cha, Mambo, East Coast Swing, and Hustle very practically with descriptive text and pictures that do the job of getting you in the dance.Read more ›
Add to this the low price, and you get a bargain not to be passed up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the explanation of steps is not very clear and the DVD leaves much to be desired as wellPublished 4 months ago by Martin Henry
Good book. Lots of background information. No good for High Society. Too struct5ures and not forgiving. Should allow for creativity.Published 8 months ago by WHITNEY SAIDLA
If you are going to take ballroom dancing lessons, this book would be a solid addition to the lessons. Very easy to follow direction on various steps, and well worth the money.Published on May 20, 2014 by Dennis Bean
Not only did the book come to me without the cd which was supposed to be included, but the information provided was in no way intended to be understood by the novice ballroom dance... Read morePublished on February 19, 2014 by Mia R.
Extremely disappointed for: not only getting the kindle version did not include CD contents, which of course makes the book useless, but also Instruction guide cards attached to... Read morePublished on February 10, 2014 by R. S. Homsany