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Booktalking "Jump Into Jazz" by Minda Goodman Kraines


This is a dance book that informs the reader about the African-American influence on jazz, and it also gives beginning dancers information that will prevent injury and help them learn how to dance well. The importance of correctly fitting dance shoes is emphasized. Incorrectly fitting dance shoes can cause bunions or other foot problems to develop. This information inspired me to get better fitting ballet shoes (which come in black)! 

The book has incredibly helpful diagrams of the human skeletal system, and it discusses proper alignment and the causes of postural deviations, which can create muscular and skeletal strain. It tells dancers how to correct their posture. Body alignment is a much talked-about topic in dance. The usual structure of dance classes, including warm-up and stretching, then choreography, is discussed. The book also details which exercises to avoid in order to prevent discomfort. It has a chapter on ballet for jazz and diagrams of the feet and arm positions for the five positions of ballet and ballet movements.

Jump Into Jazz: the Basics and Beyond for the Jazz Dance Student by Minda Goodman Kraines, 2005

I have been in love with jazz since I first learned that they offer jazz classes in Manhattan. I finally found a dance studio that offers jazz classes during the day (Steps on Broadway), and I was ecstatic! In addition, my jazz teacher is spectacular; she uses imagery and explains physiology and movement to us. Jazz also seems to be a natural fit for me because I like to dress in black, and jazz dancers are always adorned in black.

This book really breaks down the logistics of dance for people who are not familiar with dance (beginners and absolute beginners). I found it very informative and enlightening. I have looked at dance books on various styles that are mainly descriptive of the dance style. This book gives the history of jazz as well as information that helps people learn how to dance well. 

I love the photo on the cover; it looks like even I could do that movement.


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