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The Pocket Guide to Ballroom Dancing (ePub)

P&S History

By Maureen Hughes
Imprint: Remember When
Series: Pocket Guides
File Size: 1.0 MB (.epub)
Pages: 218
ISBN: 9781844683543
Published: 13th September 2010

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Foreword by Len Goodman.

Everything you need to know about ballroom dancing in one handy guide by arts expert and Pocket Guide Series best-seller, Maureen Hughes, this book on Ballroom Dancing differs to many others on the market in that it does not set out to teach the reader how to dance, for the market is saturated with just such books. No, this one gives an overview of the sport and offers the reader a wide selection of information to support both the enthusiast and the curious.

Reality Television arrived just over a decade ago and has propelled our fascination with celebrity to unprecedented and unrivaled heights. But it wasn't being hidden away in a house or jilted in a jungle that caused this rise, no it was dancing. Good old, traditional dancing. In the Pocket Guide to Ball Room Dancing, Maureen Hughes concisely and attractively bullet points everything you need to know about Ballroom Dancing from understanding what a barrida is to learning what Arlene Phillips' first job was. Hughes is aptly positioned on the subject having been immersed in dancing since her childhood until a tragic back injury stunted her dream of becoming a professional. With a history in the film and theatre industry in which she wrote for both she allows this book to come alive with the beat of the samba. With a foreword by Len Goodman it's unlikely this book will receive anything but a ten from him.

JB (Customer Review)

The last decade Reality TV has become enormously popular with one programme after another hitting our screens but probably non more than Strictly Come Dancing which is a world wide phenomena.
Millions of us with our eyes glued to the screen each saturday.
So what is it that we love? Watching for our favourite celebrity, Seeing who has two left feet and of course seeing who has a hidden talent.
It seems Ballroom Dancing is popular with all sectors of life, from children to grandparents, everyone is now inspired to learn to dance and also learn about ballroom its self.
The Pocket Guide also contains some surprising facts for readers to indulge in.
Also Maureen Hughes(Author) writes about her own extremely sad encounter with Ballroom Dancing.

Jeff Bond

Written by Maureen Hughes, the book is a mine of information about the world of ballroom dancing which has come into its own again in recent years, thanks to the Strictly phenomenon. The author gives a brief history of dance and the emergence of ballroom styles, with a section on the historic figures including Victor Silvester, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. What makes this book fascinating is the inclusion of many little known facts, such as that the name Ginger allegedly came about when Ginger Rogers' cousin couldn't pronounce the name Virginia. The section on who's who in the world of ballroom dancing has to be selective, as this is after all a pocket sized book, but it's quite comprehensive. She then goes on to list the most popular ballroom and Latin dances, with a short description of background and characteristics of each. The final section, Looking for Information, contains some truly fascinating anecdotes as well as valuable facts. In his foreword, Len goodman says: "I greeted the reading of this book as a chore but discovered it to be a joy."

Dance Plus, February 2011

The reality television inspired revival of ballroom dancing over the last decade, marked in particular by the rise of BBC 1 prime-time star and global phenomenon that is Strictly Come Dancing, means it has never been more popular. Maureen Hughes here offers a guide to everything and anything you could want to know about the world of ballroom dancing. As one might expect from the title, it offers comprehensive guide to different dances and stances as well as definitions of dancing terminology. Less expected perhaps is the detail on the history of ballroom dancing delving into the origins of different dances, biographical accounts of famous dancers and details on famous venues. Hughes also explores the broader cultural phenomenon that ballroom dancing has become, detailing ballroom dancing in film and on television. The comprehensive though accessible nature of this guide, as well as Hughes' obvious passion for the subject means this pocket guide is the perfect companion for anyone interested in learning more about the growing world of ballroom dancing.

T. Kiernan

An explosion of interest in ballroom dancing has recently been detonated by the success of reality TV shows such as the incredibly popular Strictly Come Dancing. This dazzling global phenomena has inspired many fans to take up the art for themselves and has also sparked public interest in all things Ballroom. This highly detailed and informative book has been lovingly written by Hughes, a woman passionately devoted to dance since childhood. Here she provides a wealth of fascinating information on Ballroom and Latin American dancing - the book is jam packed with facts, figures, references and even inspirational quotes. From a short history of dance, through a Who's Who in the world of Ballroom, this book is an essential guide to the background and characteristics of the most popular dances and also provides hints and tips to help improve your own performance. Whether you want to hit the dance floor yourself, or whether you simply want to know more about this glamorous performance art and its history, this book is an essential pocket guide that will tell you all you need to know about the wonderful world of Ballroom dancing.

Lisa

This is a book that delivers exactly what its title promises. Six chapters packed with facts, references, biographies and quotes that provide an accessible reference source. But, on reflection, perhaps not so much pocket as extensive.

I think the extensive category is a reflection of the author. Maureen is a teacherr, director, producer and drama coach. Currently Head of Musical Theatre at Laine Theatre Arts, she has co-written eight musicals and has worked on both sides of the Atlantic. There is an attention to detail within the book that must be a reflection of the sum total of her professional experience. I think the challenge for Maureen may have been not what to put in the book but what to leave out.

The book is a must for all those interested in Ballroom and Latin dancing. The book starts with a history of the dance genre and moves quickly into an explanation of the differences between Ballroom and Latin. There follows four more chapters that provide a who's who of the dance world, a definitive explanation of all the dance styles and concludes with an alphabetical chapter that starts at 'allemande' and ends with 'working leg'. My outline of the contents of the book is dar from extensive. Despite the books factual centre, it is a pleasant and interesting read. Len Goodman provides the foreward and he found the book a joy to read. Once started, it is difficult to put down. It is not one of those books that will just be read and left on the shelf. It will prove to be a constant reference companion.

This is not a book about how to dance but is a must for anybody who wants to gain a greater knowledge of Ballroom and Latin dancing. This book will certainly be on my bookshelf and it will not be long before it shows the signs of constant use.

Dancing in the UK, Winter 2010

If you like Ballroom Dancing then you must buy this book.It is a fascinating read from beginning to end.

A.M

O.M.G I AM LOVING THIS BOOK! AS ONE OF THE SCD SUPER-FANS - I BUY ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE SHOW! WHEN I SAW LEN GOODMAN WAS INVOLVED IN THIS BOOK I WAS LIKE... ORDER!!! AND LET ME TELL YOU - LEN WAS SO RIGHT WHEN HE SAID THIS BOOK IS A MUST!!!
I'VE WATCHED EVERY SERIES OF SCD AND DWTS - SO I'M PRATICALLY A PRO MYSELF HAHA.. BUT THIS BOOK REALLY DOES INFORM YOU AND YET CHARM YOU WITH THE EXACT SAME STYLE AS THESE GREAT BALLROOM TV SHOWS!! I'M SO GLAD I'VE READ IT BEFORE SERIES 8 STARTS. I NOW FEEL LIKE I COULD BE THE 5TH JUDGE! 'MAZING!
CALLING ALL SUPER-FANS..... TEAM LEN SAYS IT'S A MUST. IT SO IS! XXXX

J.J

Having read Len Goodman's enthusiastic foreword and then buying my own copy of this book I have just purchased a further copy for a ballroom-mad friend. It's a fantastic and very readable book - you can dip into it randomly, and it's full of interesting and varied information. It is not a technical manual - it's there to amuse and entertain but is nevertheless factually very accurate. I have many professional friends in the dance world - everyone I've shown it to is intending to purchase a copy. The fact that Len Goodman so heartily endorses this book surely speaks for itself - he, after all, says it as he sees it! The 2010 series of SCD is about to begin - buy it now and help yourself to view the series from a different perspective! I'm confident you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

This is Maureen Hughes' fourth book in the Pocket Guide series - each one as readable as the last.

Carol Ann
 Maureen Hughes

About Maureen Hughes

Maureen Hughes teaches at the Laine Theatre Arts in Surrey and has written eight musicals, one of which was produced in London’s West End.
She has written 4 "Pocket Guides" for Remember When, following the success of The Pocket Guides to Musicals; Plays & Playwrights and The Classics.

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