We have decided to make a list of books that we feel could be helpful on your dance journey. There were a lot of books to choose from to write about but we’ve narrowed it down to whatever we felt was most relevant at the moment. Although these books (except one) were not aimed specifically for dancers, as an artist, one can certainly relate to the information/message they carry.
As far as we know, these books have been read and the knowledge has been put to practice by numerous dancers. They contain a vast amount of information to help you develop as a person, to develop and practice your art, motivate your crew and to guide you on your path of success (whatever that may be).
Superteams by Khoi Tu
This is a well written and approachable book to read. The book and the observations it makes are guaranteed to generate a great initial conversation and response for anyone working in or with teams, specifically around the area of how successful teams are engineered, managed and constantly improved.
Khoi Tu illustrates his observations around how an entity creates and manages a super team very effectively via seven very diverse, vibrant and entertaining narratives around what common components and attributes lead to the success of institutions like Steve Jobs at Apple, the Rolling Stones, the SAS, the Red Cross and Ferrari.
We recommend this book for dancers who are part of a crew, work with or manage dance groups/crews. The book presents many real-life examples of how certain leadership styles or actions can affect a group and its performance.
Bruce Lee’s Striking Thoughts
Bruce Lee is considered to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time. He was well-read and had an extensive library dominated by martial arts subjects and philosophical texts. The books he wrote on martial arts and fighting philosophy are known for their philosophical assertions, both inside and outside of martial arts circles. Although he passed in 1973 his words still resonate to this day and teach us how to cultivate our truest selves and be in harmony with the world. In this book you will find the secrets of Bruce Lee’s incredible success – as an actor, martial artist and inspiration to the world. Consisting of eight sections, this book covers 72 topics and 825 aphorisms-from spirituality to personal liberation and from family life to film making-all of which Bruce lived by.
His ideas helped energise his life and career and made it possible for him to live a happy and assured life, overcoming challenging obstacles with seeming ease. They also inspired his family, friends, students and colleagues to achieve success in their own lives and this personal collection will help you in your dance journey too.
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
You may have heard the common saying, ‘Talent. You’ve either got it or you haven’t.’ Well, the author of this book, Daniel Coyle, says otherwise. by drawing in on cutting-edge research he reveals that talent/ability really can be created and nurtured and that it is not a mystical blessing one is born with.
Coyle observes talent at work in venues as diverse as music schools in Dallas to tennis academies near Moscow to demonstrate how the wiring of our brains can be transformed by the way we approach particular tasks. He explains what is really going on when apparently unremarkable people suddenly make a major leap forward. He reveals why some teaching methods are much more effective than others and, most notably, he shows how anyone can achieve their full potential if they set about training their minds in the right way.
This book will really help you to understand some of the reasons why successful dancers are so successful and also why some countries/regions produce many great dancers. You may even look at your own dance career and ask yourself what the reasons are or why you are not successful. Once you have this awareness you can adjust your lifestyle, training regime to improve your dance/career. A very insightful book which we highly recommend.
The Art of Battle by Alien Ness
A special mention to this book has to be made. We have previously written a short article about this book and it deserves to be in this list. As DJ Renegade said:
“Written by, in my opinion, one of the foremost experts in the field and student of the art, Alien Ness. Ness has a deep history which I won’t go into here, but suffice to say, he knows the subject intimately. As someone who has been putting in work for many years he is living proof that you can keep contributing and staying active in the scene as long as you want.
A mixture between a pamphlet and a book, the Art of Battle (AOB) is filled with lots of information that, in this day and age of staged battles and tournaments, are extremely relevant and useful. Invaluable to both competitors and judges, it covers many of the main issues of battling and an insight into how battles may be viewed. Many people don’t understand the science of staged battles, how to approach them, how they are judged, how to increase the chances of winning etc. As an example many dancers don’t realise that almost all judges use a round per round system. Some still think that battles are judged as a ‘whole’. This is not so and hasn’t been for years. This book makes an attempt to look at all of this and find some type of resolution. Whether it succeeds or not I’ll leave for the buyer to decide, but trust me…you won’t be disappointed.”