- Paperback: 150 pages
- Publisher: BlueChip Publishers (January 11, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 093025144X
- ISBN-13: 978-0930251444
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Every Man's Survival Guide to Ballroom Dancing: Ace Your Wedding Dance and Keep Cool on a Cruise, at a Formal, and in Dance Classes Paperback – January 11, 2010
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About the Author
James Joseph used to hate to dance. Learning to dance was a struggle. So he simplified the process, which he explains in this book. He took his first beginners' class in 1984. Since1996 he has trained under Skippy Blair, a Swing Dance Hall of Fame member, and who is considered by many the teacher of teachers. He's now a GSDTA certified dance instructor.
Top customer reviews
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I had the opportunity to check out a few of the specifics with a professional teacher and the book was spot on.
However, when I finished the last paragraph, I was left with a sort of empty feeling, as if to say, "What do I do now?"
My advice to wannabe social dancers is to read and enjoy this book. Pay attention to the advice give but then look for a good teacher.
Dance is about responding to the music that moves your spirit. Different music and different dance styles appeal differently to different people. This is NOT a book to teach you any specific dance or any specific moves. As the book points out, you have group classes, private lessons, YouTube videos, and other resources for that. This is a book about fundamental principles that will help any dancer with any style of social dance. It is the kind of information that every teacher should be conveying to their students over the course of their lessons.
Alas, so much of dance instruction is about the pattern of the week (or month series). That way students can feel they got a specific "product" in return for their money and time. But rich, rewarding dance wants to be more about a dancer's relationship to the music and to their partner. When we have those fundamentals, then patterns become useful tools, not an end in themselves. The patterns are to dance as kata (forms) are to martial arts. They inform how to move the body and what is possible.
Yes, the book makes the assumption that the "Man" leads. That gender assumption is challenged all the time in modern dance scenes. (The book does suggest in a paragraph that dancers can benefit from learning the opposite role. I wholeheartedly agree.) Practically everything in the book is something that either partner will find useful and helpful. Consider, for example, musicality, a major part of the book. Dance partners make a richer, more rewarding connection with each other when they both respond to a "leader" they have in common -- the music!
The Kindle version of the book disappointed a bit in a few aspects. First, the Table of Contents does not include Chapter titles, only numbers. Second, the tables are difficult to read. Third, although the in-book hyperlinks are a wonderful help, there is no ability to immediately return to where you jumped from! Limitations of the Kindle interface, not the book.
I've been dancing ballroom smooth, Latin, and swing dances for three decades, and more recently Argentine tango. As I read this book I found myself repeatedly nodding my head and saying, "Exactly!" This information presents a mature approach to getting the most out of dance instruction. Mr. Joseph writes in a highly approachable, friendly, and easy to understand manner.I recommend this book highly for men and women (i.e., ballroom "dancers") who are beginner dancers OR teachers who want to do right by their students.
James Joseph's straightforward and practical learning exercises are leading me to results and confidence. The book's essence is about what is common to nearly all ballroom dancing. It's entertainingly written by pulling from his own experiences and his perceptions resonant with me.
Having been about to embark on another round of lessons, I pulled up short. Until I get the intuitive, autopilot grasp of the basics, I'd be wasting my time and dealing with more discouragement on the dance floor.
The book is written from a guy's perspective. Last evening I was speaking with several women and one put it well - she acts as the keeper of the beat for her husband when they dance. Maybe it is a guy thing, but the author's words and exercises will change this for me.
For now, skip the dance lessons and DVDs - get this book.