Once in a while a dance book comes out that is so on-target you want everyone to read it. The Dancer’s Way is such a book.
Written by Linda Hamilton, PhD and New York City Ballet, this book addresses the dancers of today and provides guidance for them by sharing information about tools that are used in the NYCB wellness program.
Some of the subjects that are covered in this book include things such as good work habits, cross-training, eating right, weight control strategies and stress management. These are broken down into sections and grouped under the heading “Five Keys To Peak Performance”.
There is no doubt that the considerable information here is the best available in the business. Dr. Hamilton is the wellness consultant at New York City Ballet, as well as a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science. She has written a column for Dance Magazine for many years, and is also a consultant for the Ailey School and Career Transition for Dancers. She was also a dancer at NYCB.
Peter Martins himself wrote the introduction for this book–an appropriate selection, given the fact that he was Ballet Master in Chief of NYCB when the wellness program began and has worked with it ever since. In the introduction, Dr. Hamilton mentions the fact that in only three years this approach has slashed disability at NYCB by 46 percent. To me–that is truly an amazing number.
The fact is, the information contained in these pages is used every day by some of the best dancers in the world. That’s a big-time endorsement, in and of itself. But one of the best things about the information in this book is that it can apply to everyone from the casual dancer to the serious company member. Those who are interested in learning how to protect their bodies and enrich their health while being physically fit will appreciate this comprehensive approach to wellness. There is something here for people of all levels.
In addition to the information mentioned above, other gems that this book shares with the reader include:
+ Information on getting an orthopedic screening. This type of exam can help identify orthopedic issues that may arise, depending on the individual’s body. It was developed by Dr. William Hamilton.
+ A list of books, DVDs and Web sites. Resources for everything from eating disorders to dance medicine education and referrals.
+ A food diary worksheet.
+ A dance medicine glossary.
This is a book that belongs in the library of every dancer and on the shelves at every studio.