Ballet in Print: So, You Want to Be a Ballet Dancer?

KronenbergBookIt is all too rare for an experienced professional dancer to provide career guidance to students. The average professional dancer’s hectic schedule, necessity to focus on oneself, or lack of interest in reaching out to aspiring professionals in order to stave off competition all may play a part in that. Even from those who share their knowledge through teaching, there is typically a lack of basic insight on the professional ballet experience that is provided to their students.

Fortunately for us, Miami City Ballet principal dancer Jennifer Kronenberg is not your average professional dancer. Gifted not only in dancing but also writing, Ms. Kronenberg has openly shared her perspective on professional ballet, the story of her rise to ballet fame, and insights on how to prepare in her recent book, So, You Want to Be a Ballet  Dancer? – not to be confused with the revered Thalia Mara’s book from 1959 of the same title, sans punctuation.

A small, pocket-sized read, So, You Want to Be a Ballet Dancer? is divided into 20 easily digestible chapters that focus progressively on essential knowledge relevant immediately prior to and at the start of a ballet career. Early training is also covered briefly along with longer-term concerns such as retirement savings and dancers’ frequent periods of unemployment. QR codes and urls cap off many topics with videos of Ms. Kronenberg’s colleagues addressing the issues in more detail or from another perspective. Ms. Kronenberg has no illusions on the limitations of her personal perspective and consults colleagues and other professionals as contributors when necessary, for instance in the chapter on men in ballet.

This is one of the most useful books about professional ballet in publication at the moment, littered as the market is with books focused more on the basics of instruction and getting started with beginner training or beginner pointework. I held off on posting about this book while it was in e-reader form only, but it has recently been published in hard copy. Go buy it today! I found one at BN yesterday and it’s up on Amazon as well. (Now, for a book focused on men’s ballet! Maybe something that expands on this.) Enjoy!

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Ballet in Print: Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear

 

Ballet in Print: Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear, which I originally posted about just over a year ago, is now available in paperback! Currently priced at $24.99, the price will increase by one cent on 1/31/13 to $25.00 in order to qualify Amazon customers for snazzy free shipping. If you missed this when it was first published, don’t pass it up again!

Ballet in Print: The Dancer’s Book of Ballet Crafts

Summer is here! And with it long days of sleeping in, outdoor activities and barbecues – at least until summer dance classes begin. What better way to entertain yourself whether hanging out at home or in the dorms at an SI than with a packed book of ballet-specific crafts. The Dancer’s Book of Ballet Crafts: Dancewear, Accessories and Keepsakes is a lovely book including upwards of 30 projects for budding ballerinas to enjoy. (Click the link above and view the table of contents for the full list of projects.)

Projects in this book are cleverly divided by dance use, like warm-up, rehearsal and performance. Famed dance photographer Rosalie O’Conner lends her expertise to photos of student models from Stanford Ballet, School of American Ballet and Manhattan Youth Ballet that pose with the craft creations. Inspiring ballet facts and quotes accentuate the pages.

From ballet warm-ups to tiaras, this book contains not only step-by-step instructions for a range of projects from beginner to advanced, but also space for scrapbooking and journaling, making it the perfect place to entertain yourself, get inspired and keep track of your summer ballet adventure all in one place!

Ballet in Print: Girl in Motion (with a sneak peek!)

Miriam Wenger-Landis, former professional dancer with Miami City Ballet, published a lovely novel this year for young dancers called Girl in Motion. This book chronicles the experiences of small-town girl Anna, a very talented young dancer who has been accepted to the year-round program at the fictional School of Ballet New York after attending their summer intensive.

Miriam Wenger-Landis trained at SAB as a young dancer and is able to use those experiences to write believably and compellingly about Anna’s world. Thanks to Dance Spirit Magazine, you can read two excerpts of Girl in Motion online – Part 1 was published on their site in September, and part 2 will be available next month!