It’s no secret that dancing is a beneficial activity for the brain. Our previous “Brain Dancing” article talked about how dance allows the brain to process functions in an area that directly concerns memory and how this brain-body connection is vital for quality of life. This connection can be enhanced both on and off the dance floor with the help of books. After all, dancing isn’t merely about memorizing steps and perfecting movements. From understanding a dance’s cultural context to reading about awe-inspiring industry peers, dancers can pick up plenty of information and actionable advice for improving technique.
Perpetually on-the-go dancers may prefer the portability provided by ebooks and audiobooks. These allow you to sneak in reading time while commuting to the studio or via headphones while warming up. That said, these dance-related expenses can add up.
Luckily, Everand’s digital library makes both ebooks and audiobooks available for as low as $11.99 per month, allowing dancers to further their craft by reading what they want, how they want. From no-nonsense guides like Ballet for Dummies to emotionally stirring memoirs like A Body of Work, there’s something for dancers of all kinds. With thousands of new titles added weekly, you’ll likely have a fresh dance-related read to look forward to now and then.If rehearsals take up a lot of your time and you don’t know where to begin, here are a few dance ebooks and audiobooks to add to your reading repertoire.
The Ballet Companion
Ballet is one of the strictest disciplines, requiring years of dedicated practice. This comprehensive reference book is for ballet practitioners looking to build a solid dance foundation. Readers will find practical advice for selecting a school, studio etiquette, ballet fundamentals, training systems, and more. Because good health is integral to dancing, author Eliza Gaylor Minden also includes tips on diet, preventing injuries, and cross-training. The book also features demonstration photos of the beloved former American Ballet Theatre soloist María Riccetto, now the Artistic Director of the Ballet Nacional de Sodre.
A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages
Kristin Chenoweth, who originated the iconic role of Glinda in the Broadway staple Wicked, is celebrating 20 years of the beloved musical. She documents her decades-long journey from a small-town Oklahoma entertainer to a Tony Award-winning screen and stage star in this highly entertaining memoir. As theater and dance are intimately intertwined, dancers can glean inspiration from her backstage insight and breadth of stage experiences – and how the challenges she faced before making it big as a performer shaped her faith and priorities.
A little fiction can help stressed dancers unwind and open themselves to new narratives. Kati Gardner’s debut book centers around teenager Cason Martin, the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory’s youngest talent and daughter of its overbearing artistic director. Her love interest, Davis Channing, is a cancer survivor whose drug addiction nearly ended his life. As Cason faces the consequences of hiding a life-altering injury and Davis reckons with a past lover threatening to plunge him back into addiction, their two worlds collide, weaving a story of perseverance and unlikely bonds. Cason’s mounting challenges in such a competitive field will resonate with dancers who have had to thrive in high-pressure environments.
The Way We Work: On the Job in Hollywood
Many dancers will find themselves in the entertainment industry, working with actors, pop stars, hard-to-please executives, and more. This book is a collection of the various skill sets that aspiring professional dancers may interact with, from writers, award-winning directors, producers, and porta-potty suppliers, showing that it takes more than the big stars to get productions off the ground. For dancers who have yet to acquire real-world experience, this is a raw and unfiltered peek into the gritty nature of the performance industry – and what you can do to survive and thrive.
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