Safe Dancing Books

There are still inaccurate books out there with dubious exercises and advice. (But probably better overall than the internet) Take care. Here are some books I've found useful:

Alter, Michael J, (1996) Science of Flexibility, Human Kinetics Pub
Includes a section looking at pros and cons of various types of stretching such as static, ballistic, PNF, etc

Alter, Michael J, (1997) Sport Stretch, Human Kinetics Pub

Calais-Germain, Blandine, (1993) Anatomy of Movement, Eastland Press
Includes definition of movement terms (such as flexion, extension, abduction). Has short section on bones, joints, cartilage, joint capsule, ligaments, and muscles. Each following chapter then explores movement of a part of the body (eg the trunk, the shoulder, ...) looking at what muscles cause movement and the action of the relevant joints. Good clear illustrations.

Calais-Germain, Blandine & Lamotte, Andrée, (1993) Anatomy of Movement - Exercises, Eastland Press
Follows on from AOM. Includes hundreds of photos and diagrams to illustrate exercises to prepare the body. As with AOM takes each area of the body one at a time. For example "The Shoulder" - movements, flexibility, strengthening, co-ordination, practice pages

Fitt, S. (1996) Dance Kinesiology, 2nd edition, New York : Schirmer Books
Good background physiology and anatomy

Gray, Henry, (1977) Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical, 15th ed, Bounty Books
Old, yes, but bones and muscles haven't changed much over the years. A useful reference showing all the bits that make up the body and how they fit together. Includes such useful information as where various muscles are attached. There is also sections on articulation but require some effort to apply to dance.

Howley, E.and Franks, T. (1997) Fitness Leader's Handbook, Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics

Huwyler, J.S. (1999) The Dancer's Body - A medical perspective on dance and dance training Germantown, MD: International Medical Publishing, Inc
Chap 4 is used in QUT's Safe Dance unit. This looks at the spine, trunk musculature, posture, leg movements etc although much of it is ballet specific there is quite a bit of crossover.

Stark, Dr Steven D, (1999) The Stark Reality of Stretching, 4th ed (rev), The Stark Reality Corp
Includes a section on how muscles work and what it means to stretch them. The second section looks at how to stretch in general; proper warm-ups, types of stretches, how to stretch and how not to stretch. The third section gives specific examples of how to stretch the lower body (calf, groin, quads, hamstrings, posterior hip muscles, hip flexors). (review)

St George, Francine, (1995) Muscle Fitness Book, Simon & Schuster Australia
Includes basic overview of muscles & bones - what they are, how they function and has simple diagrams showing 41 of the most "useful" muscles to know about. Good section on posture types and keys to correction. Has clear exercises for stretching & control and sections on what to use when.

St George, Francine, (1994) The Stretching Handbook, Simon & Schuster Australia
Repeats some of the Muscle Fitness Book material but updates it. Includes a section on what not to do and what safe exercise to replace it with. Has groups of exercises for specific groups and sports.

Tortora, G. & Grabowski, S. (1996) Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, New York: Harper Collins Inc

Return to
for those with a general interest in the dance
"Safe Dance" page Return to
includes articles for the dedicated convert

© Copyright 2011
Updated by JEWEL