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Gotta Ballroom Paperback – Feb 13 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; Pap/DVD edition (Feb. 13 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736059075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736059077
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,153,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“The advice to newcomers of ballroom dancing is both comprehensive and helpful. A good read for experts and beginners alike."

Peter Pover
Director of External Affairs for USA Dance

About the Author

Christine Zona is a former ballroom studio owner and competitor. She has danced professionally in the international standard and Latin divisions and in the American ballroom division and won several Rising Star titles. She is a certified teacher and adjudicator in American ballroom and rhythm, international standard and Latin, and theatre arts divisions and is a member of many professional dance organizations. Currently, she judges ballroom dance competitions, instructs dancers of all ages, and is the editor of Dance Notes, a national bimonthly publication devoted to ballroom dance (www.dancenotes.com). Zona resides in New York City.

Chris George is a professional ballroom dancer, teacher, and former competitor. He has competed in the American ballroom and rhythm divisions, winning a number of Rising Star titles. He is a former coeditor of Dance Notes and now serves as a contributing editor. Currently pursuing a career on stage as an actor, singer, and dancer, he has danced at the internationally renowned Moulin Rouge in Paris and performed on two national tours of the Broadway shows Kiss Me, Kate and The Full Monty. George resides in New York City.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9fb91cb4) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fdea8a0) out of 5 stars Gotta Get it! May 24 2009
By Mary Jo Phillips - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is what I know about ballroom dancing--the more you like it, the more you want to learn about it. It's addictive, and that's probably why the authors chose "Gotta Ballroom" as a title.

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced dancer, you'll find a lot to learn and like about how ballroom dancing (Waltz, Fox Trot, Tango, and Viennese Waltz) is presented to you in this book/DVD combo package.

How do I know? I have a great collection of both ballroom dance books and ballroom dance videos that I've acquired over the years. What I like about this book/DVD is that it delivers the whole concept in a way that is logical and easy to understand. The feeling of each dance is described, as well as the footwork, body movement, alignments, and basic step patterns for both the leader and follower. You can read it, look at the photos in the book, watch the DVD, and then refine what you learned by reading that particular segment of the book again. For me, that's the best way to learn--even better than lessons.

While I like lessons, it's almost impossible to remember everything you learned via verbal instruction, and it's equally impossible to go into the depth that this book goes into. I recommend this book to beginners who really want to get themselves off to a great start, and I also recommend it to experienced dancers who want a reference and a bit of a refresher course.

If you could see my copy of the book, you could tell that I especially enjoyed the chapters on "Connecting Music and Dance," "Posture and Movement," and "Two People Dancing as One," by the amount of yellow highlighting. As I thumb through it, I'm reminded of the latest Snapple® commercial--I found some good stuff!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fdea8f4) out of 5 stars Your book is a dream come true! Sept. 29 2009
By Sport Book Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I teach two ballroom classes at St. Cloud State University. I intend to use Gotta Ballroom as a textbook. It is reasonably priced and the video is super.

Since it is a university class, it needs to be taught differently than the way I would teach at a commercial studio. The students should be doing a significant amount of work outside the classroom. I think at a commercial studio, some students do all of their dancing at their lessons.

Your text and video will make it easier for them to work outside of the class. Without video or text in my previous classes, they would forget everything in between lessons.

Your book is a dream come true!

-Jeffrey Ringer
St. Cloud, MN
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fde0864) out of 5 stars Gotta Ballroom Aug. 10 2010
By Lloyd V. Slocum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been delighted with the coverage in this book and DVD. Starts simple, but gives a few of the more advanced figures in four najor ballroom dances. Also has important info on style, body dynamics, etc to supplement the step patterns. It is a very worthwhile investment for anyone who wants to get beyond box steps.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fde0870) out of 5 stars This book will actually teach you how to ballroom dance Nov. 15 2013
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. My wife and I have been learning ballroom dancing for just five months. This book has been responsible for much of the progress. We are now taking private and group lessons, but this book, unlike most, will teach you steps that you can actually use on the dance floor even in mixers with more experienced dancers. This book won't take the place of dance lessons, even the author stresses that; in fact, she tells you how to pick a dance instructor. But a careful reading of this book, along with viewing the DVD, will allow you to learn basic techniques and solid steps that will really get you on the dance floor, and serve you well for years to come. Christine Zona and Chris George aren't flashy, but they are excellent dancers and teachers who impart both their technique and dancing background into this marvelous book. The only book that comes close to this is "Social Dance" by Judy Patteson Wright. With private or group lessons, you invariably forget most of what they teach you shortly after the lesson is done, but you can most likely view most steps you would learn in your first year or so in dance lessons on the DVD and thus reinforce the lessons.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fdead2c) out of 5 stars Boringly Simplistic Scope and Instructions Dec 26 2011
By malekz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After checking out many educational videos on Ballroom dancing from public libraries and finding them all too simplistic and lacking depth, I decided to purchase some good DVDs on my own.

I bought "Gotta Ballroom" based on an Amazon.com customer recommendation, who had felt the same way I felt and yet found this Book-DVD to be different from the rest of the bunch. His recommendation was justified to a small degree, considering the rest of Ballroom DVDs I had seen were only dance-bite instructions. This Book-DVD would be good for you if you did not know anything about Ballroom dancing, wanted to go out to dance with a partner who did not know much about Ballroom either so both of you could have a good time.

This Book-DVD fell short of my expectations. The promised Dance details that I would not find in any other Dance instruction DVD were all superficial. For example, "Contrary Body Movement (CBM)" and "Contrary Body Movement Position (CBMP) were on the menu but only a perfunctory description was given without distinguishing them from each other, and without any discussion as to why these were important and when and where they were to be used.

"Styling" was also on the menu and again in a superficial way. Although they would discuss the "Rise and fall," "Swing," and "Sway," nowhere will you see your instructors show you how to use CBM, CBMP, or other styling techniques. Instead you'll see their stiff bodies mechanically performing simplistic steps of various dances, which by the way all have the patriotic title of "American" in front of their names: The American Style Waltz, American Style Foxtrot, and American Style Tango - even American Style Viennese Waltz! The steps are all simple minded, oversimplified, boring dance bites - the American Style!

The point I'd like to make is if you dance with your partner, you'd soon be bored to death using their routines. And if you go to a Ballroom to meet new dance partners there, rest assured that people frequenting Ballrooms are more sophisticated in their expectation of you to dance more intelligently than the American Style Waltz, Foxtrot, etc promoted in this Book-DVD.

Don't waste your time and money purchasing this Book-DVD; it's only slightly better than the rest of very low quality instructional dance DVDs that you can check out from your neighborhood public library for free.

So what Instructional DVD am I recommending to you if you happen to be a serious Ballroom Dancing enthusiast with discriminating taste and high expectation of your dance instructors?

I do have an answer for you but before giving it, let me emphasize that I have no financial interest in any shape or form in regards to my recommendation. I would like just to help people who, like me, are reading comments of previous customers in search of finding the best deal for what they're looking for.

Having said this let me recommend:

The Grand Ballroom, "Ballroom Dancing with Andy & Wendy Wong."
Here is their web site:[...]
Their DVDs come in different categories, Beginners, Bronze I & II, Silver I & II, and Gold I & II. If you know something about Ballroom dancing, I'd suggest that you start with their "Bronze I" series.

Their instructions methodically cover many subtleties of Ballroom and Latin dancing, such as musicality, rhythm, footwork, leg shape, Body Posture & Position, you name it; they've covered it well with multi-view demonstrations both for the man and the lady. Their Ballroom/Latin Dance Instruction DVDs are absolutely fantastic 5-Star productions. They indeed have earned my high recommendation. Following their instructions, you'll never dance on the beat but off the rhythm!