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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Do Your DKs have favorite ballet books?


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Hi! My daughter is just turning 9, and I'd like to get her a book or two for her birthday. I think she would especially like a technique/terminology book. (She enjoys reading "fact" and "how-to" books, as well as novels.) She is a very avid and advanced reader, but I'm concerned that a book such as "Classical Ballet Technique" would be overwhelming just due the sheer length of it. Does anyone have recommendations suitable for beginner level dancers in the 9 - 12 age range?


I've spent a lot of time reading threads in the book forum on this site, but I'm having a hard time finding something for her age group. Thanks in advance for your help!

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Hello ABC123Dance, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :)


I would still recommend Classical Ballet Technique, because, although it's big, it's also FULL of pictures! It's not "hard reading" material, but learning material that she should be able to comprehend and appreciate. Much of it will be beyond her level now, but it will be a book that she can refer to throughout her training, as she learns new things in her classes. It teaches the terminology as well as describing the movment and showing what it looks like. :yes:

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Dear Ms. Leigh,


Thank you so much for the advice. I will go ahead and get Classical Ballet Technique for her.


If anyone has other suggestions for ballet books that their DKs enjoy, I'd still love to hear them!

Edited by ABC123Dance
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Hello ABC123Dance,


Welcome to the forum! It's a fabulous place to be with a wealth of information - It just takes a little time to get used to navigating :thumbsup:


As for ballet books: My DD received this book from my mom and it's been one of her favorites. It's called - Magic Slippers Stories From The Ballet by Gilda Berger


It's a fabulous book because the author gives a brief history of ballet and when the classic ballets came into being....She gives the cliff note versions of each ballet. :yes:

Included are: La Sylphide, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, Firebird, and Petrouchka


It's easy reading for both you and her plus a fun way to learn about some of the more popular classic ballet stories. DD has referred to the book many times to refresh her memory, as our school has performed many of these ballets.


I'm sure there are similar books available. I'd recommend getting one like Magic Slippers. It may be out of print, but Amazon has got it under their used book section for as low as $4.60. It's worth it if you can get it!


MAGIC SLIPPERS: STORIES FROM THE BALLET by GILDA BERGE (Hardcover - 1993) - Import (This book is Bristish - sorry just realized my mom got it when she was in England)

5 Used & new from $4.60


Hope this helps - Happy Reading! :)

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Not a technique/terminology book but my dd has just finished reading "The Healthy Dancer: ABT Guidelines for Dancer Health". She says its excellent, lots of info about anatomy plus really good pictures and a common sense approach to staying healthy and injury free. She says she wishes the book had been available when she was younger ( she turns 13 next month).


I've flipped through it and found a lot of great info, and let's face it, the sooner they learn to take care of themselves in an atmosphere that subtly encourages unhealthy practices the better.



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Thank you Kandi :):thumbsup:


That was a great tip! I just bought my copy for my DD! :lol:


You can get your copy here: www.dancemedia.com/abt :yes:

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Yes, I'm cosidering buying a copy for my daughter's studio and maybe as teacher gifts at Christmas time...

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Last year I purchased "A Young Dancer's Apprenticeship: On Tour with the Moscow City Ballet", by Olympia Dowd for DD. It is an autobiographical story about a 14 year old and her time with Moscow City Ballet. The photos are a great addition to the story. DD knows one of the dancers from Moscow City Ballet so the book has a special place for her but I believe the book is a good read too.

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Guest coupe66

My dd will be 9 next month, and I plan to buy her "The Ballet Companion" by Eliza Gaynor Minden. We had borrowed it from the library and really enjoyed it. It is a mix of ballet technique, history and lovely photographs, plus a glossary of ballet terms and narratives about famous ballets. A really nice book!

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My DD also loved the Minden book "Ballet Companion" and still refers to it alot. She even checks off important repetoire as she sees it in the back listing of "must see" choreography. I am a school librarian and at that age she also loved the fiction series "Royal Ballet School Diaries". I think it's a series of 7 or 8 books that progress through the character's years of ballet training. It deals with things like dancer jealousies, being the new dancer in class, performance casting, and even romance that blooms in the later books among dancers (she read those a year or so later) Most public libraries should have the series and I think I bought a few copies on Amazon.com. The author of the series is Alexandra Moss.


My DD is 12 and I'm getting ready to buy her the Suki Schorer books on Balanchine Technique and advice for young dancers. As a parent, I read nearly every biography written about Balanchine and all of the autobiographies written by Balanchine's dancers. . ."Prodigal Son", Allegra Kent's book, etc. She'll be reading those as soon as she gets older. :D


I am always happy to recommend books since that's my love and profession!!

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My daughter just turned 12 and loves In the Wings: Behind the Scenes at the NYCB, by Kyle Froman. She got it the Christmas she was 10, and it's a book she's read again and again. It's full of photos and text about what it's like to be a company member in NYCB.

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Thanks so much to everyone for the great suggestions! I'll be looking for all these books. Amazingly, I found Magic Slippers at our local library yesterday! I think my daughter will enjoy reading it.

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Yeah - I'm glad your library had a copy of Magic Slippers - It truly is one of my DD's favorites - It's an entertaining read. :thumbsup:


I'm glad you started this thread :innocent: - I'm going to look for some of these books myself. Great tips everyone - thanks!!!! :wink:


Happy reading everyone - now if you'll excuse me I'm going to the library.....

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My DD also loved the Minden book "Ballet Companion" and still refers to it alot.


I would recommend this book, to a dancer as well as a parent. I bought it for me, but then DD stole it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

For fun reading she might like The Royal Ballet School Diaries by Alexandra Moss. I think my daughter had these books pretty much memorized when she was 9 years old. She loved them.

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