Yes To Social Dance

35+ Partner Dance Styles to Stay Fit, Find Joy & Make Connections

Non-Fiction - New Age
236 Pages
Reviewed on 09/16/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Yes to Social Dance by Myra Kolm is the kick in the rear people need if they've ever considered dance as something they'd like to try, or if they are already on the floor but would like a little inspiration and encouragement. Kolm brings ten years of experience to literary fruition as the spirit of dancing in partners and groups is explored in the context of community, fun, exercise, and simply the joy of moving to music. The book begins with Kolm providing insight on the soul of dance and its purpose as a conversation—something that comes from within you as opposed to a series of just physical steps. The book then moves into the history of social dance, from the medieval basse to the shockingly indecent waltz, to the minuet, swing, and ballroom. Style and steps make way for the ultimate test: having the courage to get out there and just do it.

I remember with perfect clarity, watching in teenage horror as my mother swished her hips in the kitchen with an imaginary salsa partner. She was barely five-foot, East Asian, and without a care in the world as she took a Spanish dance and made it her own. The timing of Yes to Social Dance might not seem ideal in the time of pandemic quarantines, but it's actually quite perfect since we all have time to focus on a new hobby, right? Myra Kolm injects a distinct personal style into her writing and an inaccessible or downright scary topic is made wholly approachable. The writing is straightforward, tight, and encouraging with bits of whimsy and stories sprinkled throughout. I can tell you that for the past twenty years it has been a firm 'no' to social dance...but Kolm now has me thinking that I've been wrong all along. Very highly recommended.

Susan Sewell

Have you thought about social dancing, but have hesitated to try it because fear is holding you back? Banish your anxieties and doubts associated with social dancing in the educational and fun self-help book, Yes To Social Dance (35+ Partner Dance Styles to Stay Fit, Find Joy & Make Connections) by Myra Kolm. From the Salsa and Tango to The Lindy Hop and Bachata, partner dancing is a popular way to release endorphins, meet fun and exciting new people, and even travel. Social dancing is an excellent way to create lasting relationships, build self-esteem, find new confidence, enhance concentration, and even work as a preventative for old-age syndrome. Learn how to identify different dance styles and compare them based on intensity, strength, flexibility, proximity, sensuality, improvisation, solo time, and difficulty, so that you can better choose the most fitting style for you. Then, discover the excitement and novelty of the various styles of dance and their rich histories with the free included videos. Strap on your dance shoes and let's get dancing!

For those who love to move and dance, Yes To Social Dance (35+ Partner Dance Styles to Stay Fit, Find Joy, & Make Connections) by Myra Kolm is an informative and delightful resource. It is a well-written and engaging manual on how to get the most out of social dancing adventures. Including history, styles, tips, tables, and advice, it is a well-rounded reference. With so many elements, it is certain to improve the techniques of those who already enjoy social dancing, and at the same time inspire those who don't know how to dance to give it a whirl. Written for every skill level, it is a guide that can enhance social dancing experiences. No matter what your preferred dancing style, flexibility, or skill, you will not want to miss adding this stunning book to your repertoire! Fun and inspiring.

Foluso Falaye

Yes To Social Dance raises awareness about the world of social partner dance and delivers an intricate examination of the "fun-filled, challenging, and potentially life-changing activity." The author, Myra Kolm, has been social partner dancing for over 10 years, danced with thousands of people in more than 15 countries, and attended workshops with some of the most influential instructors in the world. Myra draws on her vast observations and experiences to create a book that explores over 35 of the most popular social dance styles today and a historical timeline of social dance; a structured framework, including eight comparison indicators (such as flexibility, proximity, sensuality) for selecting the most suitable partner dance styles; and tips and advice for overcoming 15 self-limiting beliefs that will supply the motivation and encouragement needed to enjoy social dance.

From spontaneous dance freestyles to colorful salsa-dance parties, I've always been a dance lover and practitioner. So when I came across Yes To Social Dance, I was beyond thrilled. Dancing is good for the soul, and this amazing book by Myra Kolm is just what I needed to get back on track. I had a wonderful time imagining the different dance styles with the meticulous narration of everything they entail. The historical facts are absolutely brilliant, and I was excited to learn about the origins of social dance styles like salsa, bachata, tango, and much more. Yes To Social Dance serves as a portal to the beautiful and electric world of social dance. In a world where more people are suffering from overwork, sedentary lifestyles, and depression, social dance may be the solution we all need.

Vincent Dublado

If you are not a social dancer, Yes to Social Dance by Myra Kolm will make you reconsider and drop that excuse of having two left feet. If you’re already into dancing, picking up this book will help you discover more things worth learning about this art. Given that social partner dancing is an unstructured discipline, the book addresses the concerns and the things that both newbies and seasoned dancers need to know. From the core principles and history of dance as a performing art to the evolution and culture of popular dance styles, this book becomes a one-stop reference for anyone interested in the contexts of social or even competitive dance. Theory and practice go hand in hand as the book even provides links to a video compilation that visualizes the style dances described herein.

Social dancing not only brings people together. Studies show that it has been regarded as effective in reinforcing people’s positive feelings, communication, and behavior. Yes to Social Dance affirms it as a form of creative and intimate human interaction. In learning from this book, step by step, you may choose to engage in any dance and in the process select a more personalized style that best suits you. Myra Kolm wrote this book with a profound understanding of social dance as a uniquely different and symbolic form of expression. As we find ourselves under lockdown, it may not be the right time to apply the lessons contained herein, but it is a great time to prepare for the right moment for a get-together.

Lesley Jones

Social dancing has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years, as people are looking to lead a healthier lifestyle while also making new connections. If you have ever wondered if social dancing is for you but have reservations regarding your physical fitness then Yes To Social Dance by Myra Kolm is the perfect book for you. Discover the origins of salsa, bachata, kizomba, zouk, forro, tango, swing, and ballroom and how they have developed over the years. You will also learn the different styles of these popular dances so you can choose the style that suits you best. There are many misconceptions around the world of social dancing. Some people believe this hobby is just for those from a certain background or with a high level of physical fitness. This guide will dispel all your fears and concerns and introduce you to a new pastime that will bring with it new social connections, while at the same time boosting your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Even if you are an experienced dancer, learn how you can enhance your technique and build a meaningful connection with your partner.

Yes To Social Dance by Myra Kolm is such a useful and helpful guide with so many resources, advice, and techniques regarding the different facets of social dancing. I loved the history and origins around the varied styles of dance, especially the tango, and how the Cuban revolution influenced the evolution of the dance. I was also surprised there was a Finnish style of the tango. I also didn't realize the many benefits of social dancing and how much it can improve not only your overall fitness but build confidence, social skills, and improve your mental health. There are not many pastimes that bring together such diverse sections of the community. The comparison tables were superb as this gives newcomers the chance to choose their preferred style of dance at a glance. My favorite part of the book was part 4 which deals with building confidence and a strong psychological mindset. The section has some amazing strategies for eliminating self-limiting beliefs and negativity in your capabilities. A highly recommended book for both newcomers and also experienced dancers.