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Gaynor ​Minden, a former dancer who now heads a dancewear company, has been immersed in the world of ballet for much of her life, and in this book shares dancer-to-dancer advice, much of which is aimed at beginning-to-intermediate level dancers, or adults who are either starting or returning to a childhood passion; dancers who have been committed to the art for a couple of years will already know on the finer points of finding a school, how to behave in class and the basic positions and movements, though the crisp photographs of professionals demonstrating steps are quite useful. The chapter on pointework, Gaynor Minden’s specialty, is more widely valuable, and the pages devoted to dancer health contain vital information on eating disorders, injuries and supplemental physical training that teachers and students of all levels would do well to review. Brief sections called “The Curious Dancer” give introductions to ballet-related skills and trivia (how to apply stage makeup; ballet on Broadway), as well as intermittent features on great ballet companies and famous dancers of both early and modern times. Her explanation of the differences between the six major ballet styles, along with the superb glossaries of terms and dance history timeline, make this book a valuable resource for dance studios and a great primer for dancers in the early stages of training.
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