Whether you’re looking for new ways to educate yourself (one of the 5 principles of successful dancers) or deciding which book to read next on the way to the studio, you’re in the right place! Here you have 5 books that every dancer should have on their shelf.
Basic principles of classical ballet (Agrippina Vaganova)
This technical manual, written by A. Vaganova herself, explains line by line the methodology of Vaganova’s classical ballet method.
As a student, this book helped me better understand the logic behind ballet technique and I sometimes refer to it when I have doubts or when I want to get a fresh outlook on how to approach a certain movement.
This manual can also be a valid resource for teachers who need to structure their classes strategically and find different ways to cue students.
Inside ballet technique (Valerie Grieg)
This book is a real treasure! It analyzes and explains the basics of ballet technique through an anatomy standpoint with simple enough words and concepts for any dancer to understand and apply. If you want to understand how a dancer’s body works, how to overcome technical difficulties, how to train smarter, this book is an absolute must.
Dance anatomy (Jacqui Greene Haas)
Every chapter of this book is structured into an initial anatomy introduction on the body parts targeted and a related series of exercises accompanied by demonstrative pictures, a detailed explanation and a link to how each conditioning exercise relates to a common dance movement. This book, despite being a bit challenging to understand at first, can be helpful to educate yourself on your body and on movement so that whenever you do your conditioning exercises or take a class, you know the purpose behind what you’re doing.
Letters to a young dancer (Maurice Béjart)
This book might seem small, but I can assure you you’ll read it over and over again constantly finding new ideas and new perspectives on dance and life. As the title says, it’s a compilation of letters written by Maurice Béjart. Whether you seek inspiration or the answers to questions bigger than yourself, this is a great read.
Carlo Blasis’ treatise on dance (Carlo Blasis)
Carlo Blasis is considered one of the greatest ballet masters of all time. He is the one who defined the typical ballet class structure that we still follow today. Blasis wrote his treatise in 1820: it is 200 years old! To go back to the origins and understand the tradition and evolution of ballet this book is a must read for every dancer.
What is your favorite dance related book? Let me know!