5 Best ballet books for teachers

5 Best Ballet Books

If you are anything like me, you LOVE to find a good ballet book on technique and teaching.  Nothing like a little read here and there to fuel your passion, provide you with a new way of looking at something or alternatively reinforce what you already know.  There are some great ballet books for teachers out there covering technique, pedagogy and everything in between.  Here are my top 5.

  1. Ballet Pedagogy – The Art of Teaching, Rory Foster.   I LOVE ballet and I LOVE this ballet book – it starts off with a brilliant analysis of the difference between a dancer and a teacher, why being a teacher is a totally different thing to being a dancer and the relationship between the two.  The explanation of different steps, their common faults and hot they relate to other steps in the ballet canon is exemplary.  This book is a must have for anyone studying to become a teacher.
  2. Classical Ballet Technique – Gretchen Ward – I refer to this book as my Ballet Bible. It has EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about ballet. A ballet book amongst ballet books. I particularly love the depth of information of differences between methods.  The opening section on Theory and Tradition is so well laid out and contains so much valuable information, I often reread it, just because I love it so much.
  3. The Ballet Companion – Eliza Gaynor Minden – This is simply a lovely book for ballet teachers and ballet students alike.  I find it a really great book to share with students as it is so visually appealing and the photography is modern and beautiful. If parents ask me to recommend a book as a present for the dancer this is the one I recommend.  It has everything from the basics of how to sew and tie ribbons to concise historical information and a break down of steps.  
  4. Basic Principles of Classical Ballet – Agrippina Vaganova – There is such a a wealth of information in this book it can be a little overwhelming but it is certainly worth sticking with it.  I you are fascinated with the tiny details about ballet, and lets face it, aren’t we all, this is a great book for you.  All the basic principles of ballet are discussed and analysed with movements grouped into fundamental types with whole chapters being devoted to different types of movements, battements, beats, connecting steps, its a ballet nerds dream come true!
  5. Inside Ballet Technique – Valerie Grieg – I find this to be a wonderful anatomy reference for myself and also to refer students to.  The book approaches anatomy as it relates to ballet.  I particularly like the little test questions at the end.  If you want to brush up on anatomy this is the book for you.  What are the two principal muscle groups that hold the pelvis in its correct centred position?  In an arabesque, which part of the spine is working the hardest and why?  All this is more is covered in satisfying detail in this wonderful little reference.

Looking for more ballet resources?  Ballet Theory and Body Position Packs available in the Resources for Dance Teachers store.


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