Top positive review
19 of 19 people found this helpful
on 19 March 2003
Ballroom Dancing... what a stunning title. There was no debate as to whether it should be called "My views on Ballroom Dancing" or "What I learned from Ballroom Dancing" but an assured title of exactly what the book contains.
In many teachers opinion, this book is indeed the heart and soul of their learning. And as an amateur competitor this is the book that I use for my study.
The book covers 4 dances: Quickstep, Waltz, Foxtrot and Tango
It also has brief notes on the following popular dances: Viennese Waltz and International Viennese Waltz (this also includes information on the International Council ruling as to what can be danced in competition)
At the back of the book, the following is also commented on: Paul Jones, Military Paul Jones, "Excuse Me" Dance, The Palais Glide, The Lambeth Walk, St. Bernards Waltz, Spot Dance
The book was originally published in 1936 and has been revised/re-issued to the point where it is now in its 9th Edition. The book features a foreword by Phillip JS Richardson, and has the most recent preface by Alex Moore, accompanied by the original preface.
The book has 324 pages, and is divided into 7 sections. Each section cosists of figures, each of which is broken down into Timing, Tempo, Basic Rhythms, Figures. The description are written for both Man and Lady, and to aid the learner there are 100 diagrams showing feet positiona and movements.
Do not be intimidated by the initial complexities of the book, as the author has also included a guide for all levels as to how to approach and tackle the content.
The book is supremely written, and has a much more personal feel that the official IDTA and ISTD technique books. However, these texts are an unrivalled source of information and (if thinking of taking a teaching exam) would work well together.
On a personal note, my current teacher has fond recollections of Alex Moore and has spoken to him before about "The Book" and his teaching methods. He has only complimentary things to say, and has always comended his ability and natural teaching method.
In reflection, most dancers will agree that with an hours lesson, this book is worth it's weight in gold if you make use of it. By spending time reading and trying the book, you may well be able to save many hours lessons.