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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance by The Girl with the Tree Tattoo is a beginner’s guide to taking ballroom dancing lessons and embarking on this enjoyable social or competitive activity. Based on the author’s experiences, discoveries and recommendations, it covers the reasons for taking up dancing, different places to learn, types of teachers, the pros and cons of private and group lessons, dealing with your first class, practice parties or social dances and finding the right partner. There are also informative and useful sections on the business considerations of ballroom lessons, getting along with your teacher or dance partner, and discussions of some of the potential conflicts or problems in partnerships that can sometimes arise.
Being a fan of dancing myself, I was interested to read Dance Diaries and found it a concise, well-written and informative guide for the beginner. It is more than a how-to or book of facts and the author's personality and experience-based ideas and thoughts shine through. I loved the section on etiquette between partners and in social gatherings, and the way the author tackles the “wonderful awkwardness” of the professional teacher/amateur student dancer problems that sometimes occur – due to the often intimate but also friendship feel to the relationship. I felt the book conveys the many reasons and benefits for taking up and learning ballroom dancing very well. It is easy to see how it can become a passion and life long activity. This enthusiastic little book gives plenty of facts combined with encouragement for the beginner. Whether you want to learn to dance as a hobby, to help develop self-confidence, for health reasons, occasional social events, or in the hope of eventually becoming a competitive or professional dancer, Dance Diaries is an excellent starting point.