Reviews and Comments

Twelve years ago, Gigi Berardi wrote about the off-balance world of professional dance and dance training and how to change it. Critics hailed her Finding Balance for its understandable language in "setting a precedent for a new standard in health in dance" and for taking issue with "those who would arbitrarily dismiss dancers who have reached a certain age," claiming, "Once in a while a book comes along which makes me wish I had written it—such a book is Finding Balance."

In this second edition – almost completely rewritten – Berardi relates stories of the most goal-oriented and persistent dancers, who fall by the wayside only to reemerge triumphant: the New York City Ballet soloist who gained 40 pounds, left in disgrace, but eventually returned to become a principal dancer; the electrical engineer who started dancing at age 23 and now performs with the Martha Graham Dance Company; the young dancer who faced near-amputation of her foot and now dances again.  How did they persevere? By learning to accept and work with their limitations, and applying a scientific perspective to training and injury treatment. These artists recognize the realities of the profession -- physical demands, work schedules, a general obsession with youth and thinness, but  refuse to be limited by them.

This second edition contains over 100 new photographs and up-to-date information on injury, injury treatment, somatic practices, fitness regimens, and diet and health. With hundreds of references on evidence-based research, Finding Balance presents an optimistic challenge to dancers to take charge, and enjoy a long and healthy career, as well as information that is relevant to the non-dancer -- to any student who’s faced challenges in study and practice.

As Francia Russell, co-artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet, writes in the foreword,  "Far too much has been written about the perils of a career in dance with little description of the rewards of being a dancer. It is, therefore, difficult to overstate how valuable this volume is..."

"Covers everything the balanced dancer should know"
— Dance Magazine

"This totally revised edition of Ms. Berardi’s popular original Finding Balance brings the latest research and development in dance science and somatics into focus with easy to read sections on major concerns: 'Technique and Conditioning,' 'Injury and Injury Treatment,' 'Technique and Training,' 'Nutrition, Weight Management, and Diet,' plus many more. Moreover, these topics are discussed form the contemporary viewpoint that science and art are partners, working in tandem to attain physical technical brilliance while enhancing aesthetic qualities essential to reach the highest peaks of performance. The text is enlivened and deepened with examples of how this partnership works; how a proper preparation for a turn will produce an easier turn (and in the case of pirouettes, turn singles to multiples) enhancing their quality and audience response. Visuals abound, from movement sequences to photos of well known dance figures and inspiring 'Profiles' of their careers.

Throughout, the author urges the importance of balancing: 'joy' with 'success' in this demanding art, from beginning study to career end. She gently reminds the reader that the mastery and satisfaction of any art form results not from a crash course or a 'quick fix,' but from the process itself which is one of 'life-long learning.' Here is a ready field-guide for those hoping to realize their full potential as artists, avoiding the setbacks – physical and emotional – that can so quickly hi-jack their goals. Pick it up and learn at any point in the journey. I would have been grateful to have this volume as a text for myself and students, and as a dip-in companion over a lifetime of performing, choreography, teaching, and writing."
— Martha Myers, Former Dean of the American Dance Festival and Professor of Dance, Connecticut College

"Far too much has been written about the perils of a career in dance with little description of the rewards of being a dancer. It is, therefore, difficult to overstate how valuable this volume is for us: artistic directors, teachers and staff – all those making decisions regarding the future of the young people in our care. Because dancers are a rare breed – unstinting in their devotion to their art form, they are deserving of every kind of help we can give them. Most importantly, Gigi Berardi’s invaluable work will enable them to make wise decisions about caring for themselves."
Francia Russell, Artistic Director, Pacific Northwest Ballet

... and, for the first edition of Finding Balance

"Once in a while a book comes along which makes me wish I had written it—such a book is Finding Balance. It is highly recommended for anyone teaching or learning."
Dance Teacher Now

"[Berardi’s] bibliography alone is invaluable."
 -- Library Journal

"[Finding Balance] takes issue with those who would arbitrarily dismniss dancers who have reached a certain age. [It] is more than a how-to. It is an optimistic challenge to the [student] to... speak out, take charge, and to enjoy a long and healthy career."
Back Stage

"[Berardi] is setting a precedent for a new standard in health in dance, [providing] all of the information necvcessary to create the change to a healthy environment in dance. She has created a valuable resource for dancers…using understandable language."
– Kinesiology and Medicine for Dance