“Dancing is creating a sculpture that is visible only for a moment.”—Erol Ozan. Learn about the performing art form of dance and those who practice and perform it with 5 of the best books about dance and dancers.
1. Dancing on My Grave by Gelsey Kirkland
“An American ballerina presents a story of the high-pressure world of dance which brought the dancer to a nightmare world of illness, drug addiction, and suicidal despair.”
2. Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You by Misty Copeland
“Celebrating the importance of healthy fats and a fitness regimen based on ballet exercises, Misty shares her own time-tested exercises and an eating plan focusing on healthy fats, both of which keep her in top shape. Tips for motivation and words of encouragement as well as tips on how to keep going even when you may want to give up. An inspiring section on the importance of finding mentors, and eventually being one, plus excerpts from Misty’s personal journal, round out this important book on grace and strength.”
3. Natasha’s Not My Name by Isabella Grosso with ML Bordner
“Natasha’s Not My Name introduces readers to the complex underground of the strip club industry from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old. Groomed by her cousin, supported by older dancers, and paid by strangers, this memoir follows Isabella Grosso’s adolescence and young adult years as she questions, struggles, and ultimately survives as a child-turned-adult with a double life.
“Natasha’s Not My Name dives deep into the dark pockets of sexual abuse, suicide, drug use, and exploitation. It uncovers the inner strength it takes for a wounded child to blossom into the empowered woman she was born to be, and explores how she found refuge in a love for dance and the arts.
“Introspective, unapologetic, and brave, Natasha’s Not My Name is rooted in a desire to share in heartache and success with other girls on a journey of self-discovery. It is inspirational reading for all women.”
4. Taking Flight by Elaine DePrince and Michaela DePrince
“Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a ‘devil child’ for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life.
“At the age of four, Michaela was adopted by an American family, who encouraged her love of dancing and enrolled her in classes. She went on to study at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre and is now the youngest principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. She has appeared in the ballet documentary First Position, as well as on Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America, and Nightline.
“In this engaging, moving, and unforgettable memoir, Michaela shares her dramatic journey from an orphan in West Africa to becoming one of ballet’s most exciting rising stars.”
5. Dancing Lessons : How I Found Passion and Potential on the Dance Floor and in Life by Cherly Burke
“Cheryl Burke has been dancing since the age of four and competing since she was thirteen years old. Over several exciting seasons, she has captivated audiences of Dancing with the Stars with her incredible dance performances, Emmy-nominated choreography, high energy, and bright smile. In Dancing Lessons, she takes you from her childhood years into the world of competitive ballroom dancing and on to Dancing with the Stars.”
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