Best dance books according to redditors

We found 160 Reddit comments discussing the best dance books. We ranked the 72 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Ballet dance books
Ballroom dance books
Classical dancing books
Folk dancing books
Jazz dancing books
Modern dance books
Dance notations
Popular dance books
Dancing reference books
Tango dancing
Tap dance books
Choreography books

Top Reddit comments about Dance:

u/ruylopez69 · 26 pointsr/SwingDancing

Great post. Thank you. I'm on mobile, but if someone wants to look up "spirit moves disc 1" and "spirit moves disc 2" you'll find them on YouTube. I also know a dancer who has a comprehensive list of Whiteys Lindy Hoppers videos. I'd also love to see resources compiling all the California dancers' stuff. Plus I just saw a video of John Bedrosian doing St Louis Jitterbug and St Louis Shag pass through Facebook the other day. If someone wants to grab those and put them in one place that'd be wonderful, otherwise I'll update this comment with links (that can hopefully be added to sidebar?)

Spirit Moves Disc 1:

Spirit Moves Disc 2:

Shorty Snowden:

After Seben (1929)

Ask Uncle Sol (1937)

Whitey's Lindy Hoppers:

A Day At The Races (1937):

Radio City Revels (1938)

Keep Punchin (1939)

Hellzapoppin (1941):

Hot Chocolate (1941):

Cootie Williams and Orchestra (1943):

Jitterbug History:

Misc. Other Notable Clips:
It Goes To Your Toes:


Rip It Up (1956):

Caravan (1946):

Swing Fever (1943):

Okay I have A LOT more where that came from but I have to step out, going dancing :D

I'll update a second time with more!

Edit 2: I CANNOT emphasize enough how amazing Frankie's autobiography is. It makes so many things make so much more sense. It is an easy read and a FASCINATING one. I highly highly recommend it. I'd make it required reading if I was teaching a class (like, in school) on it. It has so much context. He is such an interesting, charming, warm, genuine guy. With a shocking memory. That book changed my whole perspective on dancing.

Buy it here:

Edit 3:
Some context - Shorty Snowden was what they call a "first generation" savoy dancer. He and his group were the people that inspired Frankie Manning and Whitey's Lindy Hoppers. Their style was more upright, and less refined.

Whitey's Lindy Hoppers danced a lot more like Snowden and his group in 1937-8, but as you can see, in 1941 they did more of the Lindy hop we know and love. Around this time and later, Dean Collins and a lot of dancers in LA did some pretty iconic dancing. I am not nearly as tuned in on the LA clips as I'd like to be, but Swing Fever and Groovie Movie feature some of these guys.

Anyway, there's a lot of amazing stuff in those clips - note the prevalence of the California routine in the later Whitey's clips. To identify the California routine, spirit moves 1 goes one by one through a lot of the line dances and group choreographies. I also would love to add more clips of Al Minns and Leon James later, who are heavily featured jn spirit moves.

If you ask me though, spirit moves 2 is the real gem. The only clips we have of social dancing at the Savoy. It also features the al and Leon Shim sham, a contest (to prepare for the harvest moon ball), Mambo night (which I need to study a lot more, an amazing blend of dances), and my personal favorite, the Cats Corner, a part of the dance floor marked out specially for the top dancers to really cut. My favorite social dancing clip is here, featuring Leon James, slick slides and spins.

u/WorkedInTheory · 14 pointsr/drumcorps

That is simply a poorly written article.

Dance theory, choreography, and general concepts of contemporary dance are quite well defined and clearly articulated.

In the history of dance, there have been a number of approaches to formalize specific principles and vocabulary, even actual dance notation (Labanotation) was created to record specific choreographic movement in order to be reproduced. The availability of film and especially video made this obsolete.

Ballet is still actually the foundation of modern dance, which introduces variations of technique and extended vocabulary. It would literally be impossible to be a professional performer or choreographer in the contemporary sphere without not only a solid ballet foundation, but other well known principles set out since the Denishawn school (school founded by Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis that is considered the origin of contemporary dance's break with ballet).

Anyway, here are some essential reads that I would strongly encourage anyone that is interested in choreography or staging, especially in the context of marching arts, to read:


The Art of Making Dances - Doris Humphrey (<<< critical read!)


The Intimate Act of Choreography - Lynne Anne Blom & L. Tarin Chaplin


Anatomy of Movement - Blandine Calais-Germain


Dance and the Specific Image - Daniel Nagrin


Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet - Gail Grant


The Routledge Studies Dance Reader - Alexandra Carter


Every Little Movement: A Book About Delsarte - Ted Shawn


What Is Dance?: Readings in Theory and Criticism - Roger Copland & Marshall Cohen


The Illustrated Dance Technique of José Limon - Daniel Lewis


There are so many more!


Also recommended, free OCW course from MIT:


Dance Theory and Composition


u/rararasputin · 11 pointsr/funny
u/skullmande · 10 pointsr/barefoot

Here are some medical studies that I have read over the last two years, when I started to be interested on minimalism. Not specially related to flat foot, but for sure you will find lots of scientific evidences on them:

scientific articles

u/asksteevs · 8 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

If anyone cares, the man dancing in this photo is from a book called Dancing With Cats. I used to have that book! And I don't mean to make fun of people...but the pictures are hilarious!

u/Guy_With_A_Plan · 8 pointsr/BALLET

Classical Ballet Technique by Gretchen Ward Warren sounds like everything your sister is looking for.

u/Cawifre · 7 pointsr/WTF

No, it is "Why Paint Cats." It is literally about painting cats. There is another book, "Why Cats Paint." It is about why cats will paint pictures and how they paint things upside-down. "Dancing With Cats" is by Burton Silver and Heather Busch, as are the other two books. I have read (more or less) all three books. The experience of reading them is rather surreal. Realizing that someone paid several thousand dollars to have Charlie Chaplin painted on their cat's ass, using the asshole as a bowtie, is also a bit surreal.

EDIT: Added links. Expanded info.

u/sloth_lifestyle · 6 pointsr/BALLET

Classical Ballet Technique
I've had this one for years. I liked it a lot, especially when I first started. It has a lot of pictures and details. It's more of a coffee table book size, definitely can't keep that in your dance bag!

I also second the recommendation for Gail Grant's Technical Manual and Dictionary

u/koolyomka · 5 pointsr/gifs

I don't think you understand much about Capoeira. Try giving this a read.

u/Pennwisedom · 4 pointsr/BALLET

If we are talking about an online dictionary. The simple Glossary of Ballet on Wikipedia should have all the common stuff and the ABT Ballet Dictionary has pronunciations and everything.

If you'd like an all-inclusive book that has 99% of everything, then the Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet by Gail Grant is great.

u/tsukiii · 4 pointsr/BALLET

Classical Ballet Technique, by Gretchen Warren. It has step-by-step breakdowns (with photos of professional dancers from the late 80s) of everything from plies to ballet running.

u/feed_me_ramen · 3 pointsr/Aerials

One thing that helped me was just figuring out which damn muscles I need to activate in inversions and other tricks. This book has been highly helpful in that regard, but I am also regularly seeing a physical therapist for various shoulder/elbow/grip issues (it’s a long story) so I get to ask her all sorts of questions.

Plus that book is packed full of exercises that even my PT nor my instructors know.

u/Orsson · 3 pointsr/martialarts

A friend of mine got me interested in stage combat and other choreography. Consider picking up a copy of this.

u/1810to1856 · 3 pointsr/musictheory
u/GameClubber · 3 pointsr/capoeira

Mestre Acordeon's book is a trip but is not technique-based. It's a story of heroism and selfishness like none that I've ever read. In the realm of Capoeira I have nothing but respect for the man but as a family man, if what he writes is true, well...

Anyhow, here is a book that is pretty nice.

And also this is very good for beginner's.

u/Ghadzilla · 3 pointsr/Dance

Depends really, there are many many different ways of creating. Some people can just create material on the spot while they direct / show their dancers who remember the material and then play it back for you to see whereas others create material by shaping movement created by their dancers.

A good way to start is to just create phrases, then string them together. This will start you out with being able to make phrases quickly and you'll also see what patterns you fall into and also how to eventually create a piece as a whole.

This is a great book, a requirement for us in University.

u/mjayb · 3 pointsr/Disco

Read Love Saves the Day. Amazing history of disco and dance music culture from about 70-79. Huge discography of all the music listed in the book. You can find a lot of the tracks on YouTube.

u/D1rtrunn3r · 3 pointsr/AdvancedRunning

I started My Marathon and have a little bit of First Ladies of Running left. Haven't started Running with the Buffaloes yet - but that's high on the list to pick up once I finish those two.

My 'wish list' highlights right now include Duel in the Sun, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, The Barefoot Sisters Appalacian Trail books Southbound and Walking Home, Swimming to Antartica, and Physiology really fascinates me even though I only understand a fraction of it so I kind of want to check out Running: Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology in Practice, 1e

I also have a couple of business related books (But those are boring. I just feel like I have to read them to stay relevant in some conversations.) I need to get through, as well as some good fiction reading in just to detox the brain. Haha. Archer has been taking precedence over that before bed lately though.

u/BenCelotil · 3 pointsr/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu

It's inevitable, so get started with this.

u/ngroot · 3 pointsr/SwingDancing

Welcome to the friendliest, awesomest cult^ Wgroup of people on earth! :-) What scene do you dance in? We might be able to come up with more locally-relevant links. That said...

Things that pop to mind:

u/orodromeus · 2 pointsr/XFiles

It was! Great content with plenty of behind the scenes info, a lot of work on the looks/aesthetics of the thing.

If you're interested, Titan reprinted a selection of their articles into 3 volumes a couple of years ago. You can "look inside" a bit with Amazon previews:

u/coldize · 2 pointsr/capoeira

Get this book

It's awesome. It has a ton of exercises and some workout regiments already in there.

Like someone else has already said, the best way to get your body in shape for capoeira is to do capoeira, but this book is good for doing workouts that incorporate capoeira movements.

My particular favorite is called "serpent running" or something like that. You get in pushup position and then you rapidly switch between your left and right foot, like you're running. It's really hard and a great workout.

I also found this was a great way to supplement actual classes because I felt like I could try to just do the same routines and movements we learned in class but doing them by myself, I felt a huge lack of direction.

Good luck! Axe!

u/Lonever · 2 pointsr/martialarts

I've trained for about 6 years. Am not in Brazil but I'm planning to visit and stay there for at decent period of time.

My expertise is as a student of the art, from my experience of studying the art, discussion with Mestres of different capoeira schools and philosophy, as well as studying books and secondary historical sources (I recommend this this book)

To put it in context, let me explain to you a brief history of pre-academy capoeira as well as broad categories of capoeira styles that exists to day.

As we know, before Mestre Bimba created his school, capoeira was forbidden (that's why he first school's name did not have the word capoeira in it). Mestre Bimba thought that capoeira at that time was not effective, therefore he added some moves from other martial arts and created the first capoeira training system. Before this, capoeristas would just learn by imitation and playing in the roda (pronounced ho-dah).

As Bimba's style became more popular, the traditional style of capoeira became less and less so. Mestre Pastinha created his school and they called the traditional style Capoeira Angola. Today, the term is (somewhat problematically) used to describe any style that is considered traditional and not under Mestre Bimba.

Another term that you will come across is Capoeira Contemporanea, which just means comtemparary capoeira and is used to describe any styles that don't fall under Regional or Angola)

Capoeira Angola today is more ritualistic and focuses more on cleverness and tricks. The moves are (in general) more dance-like and hey (generally) play lower to the ground.

The style in the video is more towards a modern Regional style that focuses on martial effectiveness, speed, and objectivity.

There's also a style that emerged in São Paolo that merges both the styles. A famous group among is my group (CDO) that is today famous for acrobatics, lack of a backbone, and versatility.

Each different style generally has good reasoning for why they do things a particular way. The main problem with portraying capoeira as a fight is that even the most aggressive, objective groups generally still "play". While a capoeira game can degenerate into a fight, that is rarely a desired outcome, fueled usually by ego or some personal beef.

The old capoeristas used to call capoeira vadiaçao, which loosely translated means vagrancy, or in other words, just wasting time and hanging out.

That is why a capoeira game is inherently more than a fight, because there is a lot of things outside of martial ability to consider.

u/darksim905 · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Well , you want to look up dancing, cadence as it relates to dancing, fighting, and so on. The last time I saw a thread like this, or I inquired about it I came across these materials here and this here

I hope that's helpful to you :)

u/theOnliest · 2 pointsr/musictheory

Here's a second to Mark Butler's work. Unfortunately, like a lot of theory books, it's really expensive (because libraries will basically pay any price for books).

However, Butler's first book, Unlocking the Groove, is only 27 bucks on Amazon right now. This is the pioneering work on the theory behind dance/electronic music, and is well worth a read.

u/cavelioness · 2 pointsr/TrollBookClub

OP might also enjoy Dancing With Cats. I highly recommend it!

u/Juridiwy · 2 pointsr/MMA

Downvote me all you want but facts are facts. Read some real history here:

u/danscannnn · 2 pointsr/vinyl

Not about vinyl, per se, but Tim Lawrence's Love Saves the Day is a fantastic read on the early years of American dance/DJ culture.

A lot of it deals with the politics between record companies and the (non-radio) DJs used to promote their records in clubs, in public, etc. It also talks about the birth of the 12" single and how that completely fucked with music industry economics at the time. One of my favorite music reads.

u/smellsofelderberry · 2 pointsr/capoeira

Thanks! I'll take your word for it. As far as books on Capoeira go I've only read a few so I don't have many to compare it to. One of those was Nestor Capoeira's The Little Capoeira Book which also has a nice bit on maliçia. On that topic, I also once heard him comparing everything you do in the roda can be analogous to something in life. You wouldn't trust a complete stranger not to deceive you in certain situations and you should do the same in the roda. It's something I've always remembered.

My issue with the book would be with the person who wrote it. I could not trust an author, who claimed to be something he wasn't, to write a book about the capoeira journey. It's ironically an example of real life malicia. It's snakeoil.

u/fertilestoat · 2 pointsr/aww

This reminded me of this book ...

u/PCBreakdown · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon


For you

For me

Because, glitter!

u/RCJhawk · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon
  1. I think you need this or this.....or perhaps this!

  2. This is very close to five dollars, I do have some kindle books that are under 5 though!

  3. Clearly that nail polish is what unicorns wear on their hooves when they go through that teenage goth phase ;)

  4. FIVE DOLLA! Thanks for the contest!!
u/wtdylan97 · 2 pointsr/XFiles

I think The Complete X-Files: Behind the Scenes, the Myths and the Movies is a book which covers this sort of stuff. I haven't read it yet, because I am waiting for the Revised and Updated Edition which includes Season 10 to come out in November.

There is also The X-Files Official Collection, which is content from the official X-Files magazine, which was released while the original series ran, collected into three volumes:

u/Open_Eye_Signal · 2 pointsr/ericprydz

Haha yeah I guess I could send it/post it later. It's not very good! I'm an undergrad still. It's actually about pop/commercial EDM, and how progressive house and trance were "transformed" into pop music.

If you're more interested in stuff like this, look up Mark Butler's book Unlocking the Groove: Rhythm, Meter, and Musical Design in Electronic Dance Music. It's academic, but it's very interesting to see dance music really critically broken down and analyzed. That book generally discusses rhythms and form, and his book Playing with Something that Runs discussed how DJs interact with crowds and how forms different songs overlap to create form of a DJ set.

edit - forgot to mention, you can find that first book online for free pretty easily, I would highly recommend it!

u/created_sequel · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

I have been procrastinating reading The Viewpoints Book for almost a decade, because while I feel it has value in some areas of theater, it has not been super helpful to me. I finally started it this week, and, while some of my issues with it remain the same, it has not only been a surprisingly enjoyable read, but is surprisingly holistic!

u/slideyfoot · 1 pointr/bjj

Yeah: a bunch of the songs on my phone are off one of his compilations, along with David Mancuso and Nicky Siano. There's a great book on how that whole disco thing evolved over the '70s, called Love Saves The Day, after one of Mancuso's parties (with the obvious double meaning).

u/Mygo73 · 1 pointr/acting

Check out the Viewpoints book by Anne Bogart. Her techniques are an invaluable resource for movement on stage

u/actingasevan · 1 pointr/acting

First off thanks for asking this question, I am very similar to you in pretty much everything said - landing auditions but I'm also somewhat stiff during them and wanted to see how to help with that.


Along with what others said about training and dancing, I looked up potential resources that may help with movement in acting and purchased these 2 books - I haven't read either yet but you may find interest in them.



u/znewbie · 1 pointr/capoeira

There are lots, of varying quality.

Off the top of my head are the books by Nestor Capoeira, who is deeply respected for lots of reasons. He has a series of three books, only one is formatted as a sort of technical manual, but the others are highly entertaining and fascinating in their own right and discuss important elements beyond just the movements of capoeira.

There is also the Capoeira 100, and Capoeira Conditioning. These have some issues, while the contain photos of various movements, the instructions seem to go like "First, prepare to do the flip, next, perform the flip, finally, finish the flip." Also be aware that different capoeira groups use different names to refer to moves, there are very few that are completely stable between groups, so the names of the moves in the book might not be how they are referred to by any group you meet.

seriously though, google is your friend. So is amazon books.

There are lots of youtube videos, around too. Like Com Expressao who have a basic movements video, and some tutorials on more advanced moves, but those that i've seen do not discuss the use of those movements in the roda. They post here occasionally as well as /u/comexpressao .

u/al_prazolam · 1 pointr/WTF

My mother-in-law gave me this. I just... have no words. I took it to work and left it in the "book corner"

u/Cleops · 1 pointr/oldpeoplefacebook

Bwahahaha :D My evil plan has worked.

Seriously though - I found a neat tool recently you can use to stop your amazon likes from appearing on Facebook. It is here for PC/Mac and here if you are browsing FB on your phone with an iphone or android

u/zck · 1 pointr/improv

Oh, neat! This is the book?

u/enderflame · 1 pointr/headphones

If you can, go for the HyperX Cloud. Amazon usually has them from 55-80$, so I recommend getting it refurbished from Kingston themselves on ebay (which can go as low as 40 dollars if you go for the "Core" model).
HyperX Cloud II (ebay)
HyperX Cloud I (ebay)
HyperX Cloud Core (ebay)
HyperX Cloud (amazon)

u/pamitata · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

you want weird, you shall get weird:

Classic ice breaker. Leave an impression that lasts.

So you never feel lonely even where one goes on it's own.

Just in time for oscar's season, you can be the oscar.

if you're into beautiful coffee table display books, here's a very nice addition of the fine arts and if you happen to own a cat and are into repurposing what others would consider trash, here's another good read

u/DugganSC · 1 pointr/capoeira

>#61. Short sections on women or racism in capoeira, long sections on family trees, and great illustrations.  A review of a classic capoeira book.
>The Little Capoeira Book by Nestor Capoeira
>The Capoeira Guidebook by Varal

u/ElderTheElder · 1 pointr/aww

A most perfect scene for Dancing With Cats Vol. 2

u/spicedpumpkins · 1 pointr/buildapcforme

I usually build my own but because of current sale in /r/BuildaPCsales I have to recommend a prebuilt for the money (you will be underbudget even with taxes if you don't get the speakers or speakers plus cheaper keyboard).

u/fucking_unicorn · 1 pointr/Aerials

If you take the pills before class, make sure they're not muscle relaxers (aleve has naproxin which is a muscle relaxer) lol.

Here is the book I mentioned in my comment to you (I'm not a sponsor or anything, I'm just finding this book to be really valuable and it's filling in some of the gaps for me while I look for a solid private instructor. Right now, I just drop into group classes.)

u/JeremyR22 · 1 pointr/funny
u/tabbycat · 1 pointr/BALLET

Back On Point has some good inspiration and workout plans. Its all geared towards getting 'back on pointe'. Somewhere on there she also posted a daily workout with different exercises... I'll have to dig around for the links later. I've found it pretty helpful :D

Also look into these:

u/Shenanigansandtoast · 1 pointr/aerialsilks

This book is really really interesting and helpful for training. It goes into detail on the physical mechanics of aerial.

Applied Anatomy of Aerial Arts: An Illustrated Guide to Strength, Flexibility, Training, and Injury Prevention[Applied Anatomy of Aerial Arts: An Illustrated Guide to Strength, Flexibility, Training, and Injury Prevention ](