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  • Writer's pictureShannon Gallagher

My Top 5 Dance Books for Intermediate & Advanced Dancers

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Are you looking for a gift for your intermediate or advanced dancer? It's so important that we are encouraging reading, and there are a lot of great books for dancers. Here's a quick list of my top 5. I really could go on and on, there are so many choices, but 5 should get you started...

Gail Grant Technical Manual and Dictionary - I still have my first copy of this book that I received when I was about 10 years old. It is old and worn, and I have several other newer editions, but it is by far my most used, favorite ballet book ever. All ballet dancers should be required to own a copy of this ballet dictionary!

Holding On to the Air: An Autobiography - This has been a long time favorite of mine. I've read it and reread it several times. Suzanne Farrell was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and a favorite of George Balanchine. Her autobiography tells about growing up through the ranks of NYCB and the life she led rehearsing and performing in the company.

The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930's America. An adorable little girl who stoled the hearts of Americans by tap dancing. She famously with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and brought people together despite race.

Fosse: The Biography - Every jazz dancer should read about Bob Fosse and his influence in jazz dancing. Bob Fosse is responsible for the original choreography of hit musicals such as Cabaret, Chicago, and All That Jazz. This is definitely a "must read" for any dancer.

Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina - My list wouldn't be complete without including this autobiography. Mist Copeland is so inspiring and so many young dancers are in awe of her and all that she has accomplished. This autobiography is well written, and gives a young dancer a glimpse into the life of a ballerina - a ballerina they can follow on social media and see on TV!

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