Quickstep into these 8 great books about dancing

International Day of Dance is around the corner.

“I feel like dancing, dancing, ahhhh!”

Immortal words by Leo Sayer. And it’s a great song. But this blog post will be trading in the karaoke for some awe-inspiring books about dancing instead.

January is usually the time new and curious dancers-to-be dip their toes in the water. It’s an exciting, New Year resolution. Learn to dance. But the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, the creator of modern ballet, is another good excuse to pick up those blue suede shoes as well.

And why not? Dancing is a fantastic hobby. It’s a gateway into another culture. And the pastime helps to create connections with people. Just watch how in sync two dancers can be and you’ll see the connection. It’s electric.

Plus dance has centuries of rich history behind it.

Why read books about dancing?

Dancing is full of drama and personal growth. You might have heard of Black Swan, the gritty film following a ballerina who stars in the famous production. Or Billy Elliot, the heroic tale of the boy who follows his dream to dance despite his background. Both incredible stories.

The same applies to other books about dancing. They’ll have you on the edge of your seat.

And like many toe tapping dreamers, if you’re thinking about starting a dance class, books about dancing are worth their weight in gold. They can demonstrate moves through diagrams, inspire ideas, and offer reassuring words when you need them most.

Books about dancing can help you stay motivated too. Their pages are brimming with stories about overcoming challenges – when times are tough.

Interested? Well you’re in luck. You’ll find eight wonderful books about dancing here. Books about dancing which are designed to inspire, encourage and spur you on:

Books about dancing for older readers:

You will see there are two sections. The first covers books about dancing for adults. The second section is an ideal reading list for younger readers and for introducing them to dancing from an early age.

Dancing Is the Best Medicine: The Science of How Moving To a Beat Is Good for Body, Brain, and Soul by Julia F Christensen

Learning to dance has plenty of benefits. This book about dancing gets into the science behind it all. A lively read and guide, written by two neuroscientists who show how humans are perfectly hardwired for dancing the night away…

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith writes about the friendship between two girls as they navigate their way through childhood and their love of dance. A very moving story about relationships and the pursuit of expression.

A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatraman

This lyrical book about dancing tells an inspiring story of one girl who reclaims her passion for learning dance. Not only is it beautifully poetic and told in verse, but it captures the majesty and mystery of life in India.

Turning Pointe: How a New Generation of Dancers Is Saving Ballet from Itself by Chloe Angyal

This is a harrowing and in-depth look into the world of dance classes and formal dance education. The book discusses the issues and looks at how dancers are confronting them as ballet moved into the 21st century.

The Art of Movement by Ken Browar & Deborah Ory

Of all the books about dancing, this one captures the beauty of movement. Full of eye-catching and powerful images of dancers who practise the artform.

Books about dancing for kids:

How Do You Dance? by Thyra Heder

A lovely and reassuring book about dancing that aims to show that all dancing should be welcome. A perfect story to help young readers to feel confident about dancing for the love of it.

Josie Dances by Denise Lajimodiere

In this Ojibwe story, a young girl prepares for a performative dance called a powwow with help from her family. A beautifully illustrated tale that celebrates cultural heritage and community.  

Dance To The Hatching Beat by Twinkl Originals

This lyrical storybook is brimming with rhyme and rhythm. It’s perfect for encouraging younger readers to use different sounds in words, and to get them having a little dance in the process! This can also be downloaded as an E-book as well.

Imagine what you can learn…

Books about dancing can offer more than just an insight into the world of dance and professional dancers. The dance world is brimming with stories. And opportunities to learn how we can express ourselves through movement and music.

Books about dancing are also a wonderful way to help children learn about the joy of dancing too.

With International Day of Dance on the horizon, why not learn a little more about dance? And who knows? You could be on your way to finding your next exciting hobby.

And while we’re on the topic of sport, you can also read about NBA star and author, Steven Curry and his top book recommendations. It’s a slam dunk!

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