Preface:The Complete Book Of Ballroom Dancing

The Complete Book Of Ballroom Dancing



One of the most interesting social changes in recent years has been the "return to the ballroom" by students at colleges and universities throughout the United States. In 1974 the authors of this book helped organize the University of Connecticut's Ballroom Dance Club. During the five years the club has been in existence (including three very successful summer workshops), many of our students have pointed out the lack of real help in existing books on ballroom dancing and the need for one that would include a scholarly history of dancing and social attitudes toward it, a basic review of the musical forms associated with ballroom dancing, and detailed instruction in the techniques and skills common to all the dances. This book is the result of our students' observations and requests.

Although the book is intended primarily for beginners, one or two more advanced figures are included in each dance section. In addition, we believe the chapters on history and skills and the advice contained in the final chapter will be of interest to dancers at any level. As often as possible we have gone directly to the original sources for information: contemporary books, newspapers, periodicals, and autobiographies of individuals involved. A search was made of back issues of the New York Times and of older periodicals such asDance Magazine and Dancing Times. The New York Public Library Theatre and Dance Collections were particularly helpful. Photocopies of certain rare books were supplied by the Library of Congress.

The authors' thanks go to Robin Castellano and Christopher Moon, of the University of Connecticut Ballroom Dance Club, who served as models for the various dances, and to William Beer of Chaplin, Connecticut, who was responsible for the dance photography. John Hall, also of the Dance Club, assisted us in the preparation of the remaining illustrations. The Reference Department of the University of Connecticut Library assisted with interlibrary loans and photostats of certain periodical references.

Particular thanks go to Mary Stephenson who was responsible for the typing, editing, and layout of our entire manuscript. We would also like to thank editors Debra Groisser and Joseph Gonzalez of Doubleday for their encouragement and support throughout the preparation of this book.

Dick Stephenson and Joe laccarino

(Cover Endorsement)
Even if you were born with two left feet, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BALLROOM DANCING will have you out and moving on the dance floor in no time at all. Learn from the experts how to master twelve of today's most popular ballroom dances. The easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions are supplemented by over 500 how-to photos and many foot patterns, plus fascinating background information on the history of social dancing; a listing of some of the best recordings for each of the dances; a primer of dance skills, language, and music; tips on setting up your own dance club; and much, much more. Why miss out on all the fun, when learning to dance can be so easy?

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