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Ballet For Dummies

Scott Speck, Evelyn Cisneros

ISBN: 978-1-118-06880-9 May 2011 384 Pages


Whether you want to participate in ballet or just watch it, the ballet experience can excite and inspire you. Ballet is among the most beautiful forms of expression ever devised: an exquisite mix of sight and sound, stunning, aesthetics, and awesome technique.

Ballet For Dummies is for anyone who wants to enjoy all that the dance forms offers – as an onlooker who wants to get a leg up on the forms you're likely to see or as an exercise enthusiast who understands that the practice of ballet can help you gain

  • More strength
  • Greater flexibility
  • Better body alignment
  • Confidence in movement
  • Comfort through stress reduction
  • Infinite grace – for life

From covering the basics of classical ballet to sharing safe and sensible ways to try your hand (and toes) at moving through the actual dance steps, this expert reference shows you how to

  • Build your appreciation for ballet from the ground up.
  • Choose the best practice space and equipment.
  • Warm up to your leap into the movements.
  • Locate musical options for each exercise.
  • Look for certain lifts in a stage performance.
  • Tell a story with gestures.
  • Picture a day in the life of a professional ballet dancer.
  • Identify best-loved classic and contemporary ballets.
  • Speak the language of ballet.

Today you can find a ballet company in almost every major city on earth. Many companies have their own ballet schools – some for training future professionals, and others for interested amateurs. As you fine-tune your classical ballet technique – or even if you just like to read about it – you'll become better equipped to fully appreciate the great choreography and many styles of the dance. Ballet For Dummies raises the curtain on a world of beauty, grace, poise, and possibility!


Part I: Ballet Dancing from the Top.

Chapter 1: Curtain Up! Welcome to the Ballet.

Chapter 2: Stocking the Tools of the Trade.

Chapter 3: Getting Toasty: Warming Up Your Body.

Chapter 4: Leaping into Ballet Basics.

Chapter 5: Music, Maestro!

Part II: Belly Up to the Barre.

Chapter 6: Basic Barre-Tending.

Chapter 7: Stepping It Up at the Barre.

Chapter 8: Getting a Leg Up.

Part III: Center Floor, Anyone?

Chapter 9: Getting to Center Floor.

Chapter 10: Ballet’s Tasmanian Devil: The Pirouette.

Chapter 11: Linking It Together: The Steps Between the Steps.

Chapter 12: Ground Control to Ballet Dancer.

Chapter 13: Getting More Air Time.

Part IV: Living the Ballet Life.

Chapter 14: Partners Aren’t Just for Square Dancing.

Chapter 15: Exploring Choreography.

Chapter 16: What the Heck Are They Saying? The Art of Ballet Mime.

Chapter 17: Watching Ballet in Action.

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 18: The Ten Most Commonly Used Ballet Steps.

Chapter 19: Ten Best-Loved Classical Ballets.

Chapter 20: Ten Great “Contemporary” Ballets.

Chapter 21: The Ten Best Ballet Terms for Cocktail Parties.

Chapter 22: Ten Fascinating Facts about Professional Ballet Dancers.