Finding Balance

Gigi has been writing on dance for over 30 years for her own public radio show, “One Step Beyond,” newspapers and magazines in Los Angeles, and Dance International and Dance Magazine. Her book, Finding Balance, gives an overview of issues faced by all performing dancers: injury and treatment; technique and training; fitness; nutrition and diet; and career management. The text includes both easy-to-read overviews of each topic and profiles of well-known dancers and how they have coped with these issues.

Finding Balance: Fitness, Health, and Training for a Lifetime in Dance

Finding Balance gives an overview of issues faced by all performing dancers: injury and treatment; technique and training; fitness; nutrition and diet; and career management.  The text includes both easy-to-read overviews of each topic and “profiles” of well known dancers and how they have coped with these issues. The new edition includes:  Updated and new profiles. Expanded injury and injury treatment information. Updated dance science and physiology findings, and new references. Updated diet guidelines, Expanded and updated “Taking Control” section. It concludes with a list of selected dance/arts medicine clinics, a bibliography, glossary, and text notes.

 

Reviews

Since publishing Finding Balance, Gigi has authored hundreds of reviews and features, in print and broadcast media. You can find her articles in Dance International and Dance Magazine.

Finding Balance was an important milestone for her in her dance writing. It represented an integration of dance medicine and science, dance psychology, and dance aesthetics and criticism. In its first edition, critics hailed Gigi Berardi’s Finding Balance for its understandable language in “setting a precedent for a new standard in health in dance.”

In the 2005 edition, Berardi relates stories of the most goal-oriented and persistent dancers, who fall by the wayside only to reemerge triumphant  by learning to accept and work with their limitations, and applying a scientific perspective to training and injury treatment. With over 100 new photographs and hundreds of references for evidence-based research, Finding Balance presents an optimistic challenge to dancers to enjoy a long and healthy career, and to nondancers as well — to any student who’s faced challenges in study and practice. Fifteen years after the book’s publication, it continues to sell to teacher and student alike.

“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

“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

“[Finding Balance] takes issue with those who would arbitrarily dismiss 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’s] bibliography alone is invaluable.”
Library Journal

“[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

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

Finding Balance Blog

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