With a new series of the ever-popular Strictly Come Dancing returning to our screens this autumn, many will be inspired to dust off their tap shoes or dig out their sequins and try out some dance moves for themselves.
For those who want to give dancing a whirl but are unsure where to start, Haynes has launched a Dance Manual to help readers channel their inner Fred Astaire or Ginger Rodgers. From jazz to flamenco, Bollywood to burlesque, author Keyna Paul covers a broad range of dance styles from across the world.
The Dance Manual puts a graceful spin on the classic Haynes approach as it, quite literally, makes use of the step-by-step format, with clear photos to help readers master the simple stages of each dance. With supporting video content online, would-be dancers can check out the moves from experienced professionals and learn some more challenging steps to help them develop further.
The manual guides readers through ten different dance styles, providing basic steps to practice at home and giving them the confidence to take to the floor at a local class or event. Readers will also be able to find out more about the history of the dances, dress codes and suggestions for popular music to practice to.
Commenting on the book’s release, Keyna said: “Dance is a fantastic way for people of all ages and abilities to maintain their health, promote a sense of well-being and, most importantly, have fun. I wanted to create a guide to help people try out a number of dance styles and find the right one for them.
“Walking into a new dance class for the first time can be a little daunting as an adult so I hope to give readers a picture of what they can expect and some basic moves to give them the confidence to take to the dance floor and show off their best moves.”
The dance styles covered in the Dance Manual are Argentine tango, ballet, belly dancing, burlesque, Bollywood, flamenco, American line dancing, jazz, tap and waltz. It also covers example warm-ups and cool downs, as well as adapting dance for those less mobile.
Keyna’s top five tips for starting to dance:
⦁Remember to be honest about your fitness and general health level when choosing where to begin. Always select a dance style that suits your level of fitness.
⦁Don’t wear jewellery to start with, as it can be a danger and a distraction.
⦁Ideally, find a practice space that is clear, with a wooden floor and good ventilation. If this isn’t possible you’ll have to be a bit more inventive, but remember to move any obstacles or precious items out of the way.
⦁If you don’t have a suitable mirror, film yourself on your mobile phone to see if you look like the dancer demonstrating, or work with a friend to check each other’s positions.
⦁Don’t skip a warm-up – it’s important to get you focused and ready to begin – or a cool-down, which helps to stretch out your muscles.
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