In her beautiful book, Breathing Life Into Dance, Robin Conrad Sturm does just that. I have been familiar with Ms. Sturm’s writing for some time now, having read many of her inspirational, charming, thought-provoking and always enlightening blog posts. But those posts could never have prepared me for what lies within the pages of this book. Part autobiography, part teaching manual, part survival guide and part blog, this book touches on every aspect of building a dancer and a life in ballet. Her passion and her love for this art-form, for a life spent studying, exploring and celebrating ballet infuses every page with that life.
This book chronicles every aspect of ballet education: technique, artistry, syllabi, pointe work, adult beginners, choreography, performances and auditioning. She talks about the transition that every dancer must make when a performing career comes to an end. She discusses teaching. She writes about the college decision many dancers face when high school ends. And she graces us with a number of her beautiful articles and musings on ballet and ballet education.
But what sets this book apart from the myriad of teaching manuals and ballet survival guides that I have read is its focus. This book is centered on the love and the joy and the LIFE found in the process of studying ballet. It should be read by every dancer, every teacher, everyone who loves this art form. I smiled from cover to cover.
Breathing Life Into Dance is published by GraceNotes Press