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They are the icons. The ones we talk about. The ones who shaped everything ballroom dancing has become. But who are they? What are their stories, their experiences? What did they do that make them so legendary?

Brigitt Mayer-Karakis spent years recording and preserving the remarkable stories of these influential figures before they are lost forever. The result is Ballroom Icons, a profound book with stunning original photography by U.H. Mayer.

What's in the book

In this book, you'll find the answers to these questions and many more:

Who brought the Blackpool morning practice to a complete standstill? (page 191)

Which former world champion was once told a horse could dance better than he could? (page 134)

What simple technique did a legendary coach use to set nervous students at ease? (page 44)

Who saved the Viennese Waltz from elimination as a competition dance, and how did he do it? (page 68)

Which gentleman was once told that if he wore what he planned to wear, he'd be disqualified, only to have it become a costume trend just weeks later? (page 81)

Stories like these and dozens more fill the pages of this remarkable book. You’ll step directly into the dance shoes of these great figures, those who shaped everything ballroom dancing has become.

Discover how Arthur Murray got inspired by a joke (page 18). Read about the Rumba War (page 74).

Learn how the Second World War brought a new appreciation of dance as Europe began to rebuild, and who painstakingly recorded every detail of every step in every dance so that people around the world could dance the same way.

Meet the world’s greatest coaches, who built the champions we all admire, and learn from their remarkable stories and insights.

Vital dance information

64 amazing profiles of some of the dance world's most influential people provides a powerful, in-depth look at how ballroom dancing was shaped into the phenomenon we enjoy today.

This background is just as important for developing your understanding of ballroom dancing as are the steps and figures. Learn the history, the conflicts, the challenges, and the victories as you discover how these amazing icons worked to advance competitive ballroom dancing into a worldwide movement.

You'll become a more informed, more valuable coach, teacher and dancer as a result of what you'll learn in this remarkable book.

Brigitt Mayer’s ongoing work for the preservation of the history of ballroom dancing can be found in the comprehensive Dance Archives website.

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Award Winner!
Ballroom Icons has won Gold in the prestigious 2011 Independent Publisher Awards. Read more...

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