Ballet Books Adults And Children Will Love

I have a wonderful collection of ballet books at home that I have collected over the years. They weren’t always easy to come by, as the book stores when I was growing up seldom had anything on dance, but when they did, I always snapped it up.

ballet books adults

Now it is far easier to get your hands on great ballet books, as most can be purchased online at reasonable prices. Here are some of my favorites.

Ballet Books Children Will Love

These are four of my favorite children’s ballet books. If you are interested in finding out more about any of the books, simply click on the link or on the picture of the ballet book.

A Child’s Introduction to Ballet: The Stories, Music, and Magic of Classical Dance (Child’s Introduction Series)

Ballet dancers of all ages will love the mesmerizing stories of the world’s great ballets. In this charmingly illustrated hardcover book plus music CD, younger readers will enjoy fun facts, dancing how-tos, some history behind the dances and compositions, plus profiles of famous ballerinas and dancers while listening to excerpts of classical music.

From the Inside Flap:

Welcome to the magical world of ballet!

In this book, you’ll experience dance in a whole new way–by listening and learning at the same time. You’ll read about the history of ballet and its most famous dancers, composers, and choreographers.

You’ll find out a little bit about the different ballet steps and positions (and get a chance to try them yourself). And best of all, you’ll read the wonderful stories of the world’s greatest ballets, and, as the stories unfold, you can listen to pieces of music from some of them.

Soon, you will be a ballet expert!

From The Nutcracker and Swan Lake to Rodeo, Fancy-Free, and Peter and the Wolf, all of the world’s most popular and beloved ballets are included here, illustrated with beautiful watercolors that you will want to return to again and again. Enjoy the stories (and the stories behind):
La Sylphide


Don Quixote
Swan Lake 

Sleeping Beauty
The Nutcracker
Dying Swan

The Rite of Spring
Peter and the Wolf 
Romeo and Juliet


Circus Polka
Daphnis and Chloe
and more!

This 96-page ballet book is suitable for children between the ages of 8 and 13 years.

Ballerina: A Step-by-Step Guide to Ballet (Residents of the United States of America)

The age range for this ballet book is between 8 and 12 years.

Aspiring ballerinas will leap into the world of ballet with this beautiful step-by-step guide. This inspiring book details all of the aspects of the world of ballet.

Richly illustrated photographs, informative text, and an included instructional DVD helps beginners and intermediate ballet students gain a greater understanding of this timeless art.

There are explanations of the exercises and the technique needed to perform them.

This book is also great for adult beginners.

Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet

Fancy Nancy is ready for the spotlight! Fancy Nancy and her best friend, Bree, couldn’t be more excited about their upcoming dance show. After all, it’s all about mermaids, and who knows how to be a fancy, glamorous mermaid better than Fancy Nancy herself?

But when another ballerina wins the coveted role of the mermaid, Nancy is stuck playing a dreary, dull tree. Can Nancy bring fancy flair to her role, even though it isn’t the one she wanted? And when disaster strikes right before the big ballet, who will step into the spotlight?

The best ages for this book is between 4 and 8 years old.

The Ballet Book

This is the perfect guidebook for budding ballerinas who are just breaking in their toe shoes.

From port de bras to adagio, young dancers will learn pointe work from any level. Arabesque into the classic world of ballet by finding out about its history. Become acquainted with classic choreographers and composers. This book for children even includes advice on how to do stage makeup and take care of your ballet shoes!

This ballet book is great for 7 to 10-year-olds.

Ballet Books Adults Will Love

Here are my favorite adult ballet books. Enjoy!

Ballet: The Definitive Illustrated Story

Discover more than 70 of the most famous ballets, from The Nutcracker and Swan Lake to The Rite of Spring.

Learn the stories behind all the renowned companies such as The Royal Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet.

Explore the lives and achievements of all the famous dancers across the centuries, such as Margot Fonteyn, Carlos Acosta, and Darcey Bussell.

Read about the famous composers and choreographers

From Ballet’s origins at court and the first national ballet companies to the contemporary scene and extraordinary venues that stage the productions, this book covers an impressive history of ballet and provides an invaluable overview of this beautiful art form.

The book is filled with beautiful and rare photographs and is an essential gift for all ballet enthusiasts.

The Ballet Companion

This ballet book is one of my favorites and I reference with it often when teaching.

The Ballet Companion is a fresh, comprehensive, and thoroughly up-to-date reference book for the dancer.

It has 150 stunning photographs of ballet stars Maria Riccetto and Benjamin Millepied demonstrating perfect execution of a lot of the positions and steps.

This is every dance students dream as it includes:

  • Practical advice for getting started, such as selecting a school, making the most of the class, and studio etiquette.
  • Explanations of ballet fundamentals and major training systems.
  • An illustrated guide through ballet class — warm-up, barre, and center.
  • Guidelines for safe, healthy dancing through a sensible diet, injury prevention, and cross-training with yoga and Pilates.
  • Descriptions of must-see ballets and glossaries of dance, music, and theater terms.

Along the way, you’ll find technique secrets from the stars of American Ballet Theatre, lavishly illustrated sidebars on ballet history, and tips on everything from styling a ballet bun to stage makeup to performing the perfect pirouette.

Whether a budding ballerina, serious student, or adult returning to ballet, dancers will find a lively mix of ballet’s time-honored traditions and essential new information in this beautiful ballet book.

Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You

The celebrated ballerina, Misty Copeland shares the secrets of how to reshape your body and achieve a lean, strong physique and glowing health.

Misty Copeland believes “There has been a shift in recent years in which women no longer desire the bare bones of a runway model. Standards have changed: what women do want is a long, toned, powerful body with excellent posture.”

In other words, the body of a ballerina. In her first health and fitness book, Misty will show women how to get healthier and stronger and how to reshape their bodies to be lean and flexible with:

  • Step-by-step advice
  • Meal plans focusing on healthy fats
  • Workout routines
  • Words of inspiration, including excerpts from Misty’s personal journal.

Another great book to read from Misty Copeland is Life In Motion below.

Classical Ballet Technique

Classical Ballet Technique is an invaluable guide for students, teachers, and ballet lovers. It not only covers the broad spectrum of ballet vocabulary but also gives sound, practical advice to aspiring dancers.

The clarity of the writing, in a field notorious for its opaqueness, is in itself a major achievement.”–Merrill Ashley, Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet.

“An excellent, comprehensive guide to ballet pedagogy valuable to teachers and students alike. For many years Gretchen’s has been a major voice in the dance community, and this extensive work details the study of classical ballet from her unique and expert point of view. I applaud her, and I heartily recommend Classical Ballet Technique.”–David Howard, International Ballet Master, and Master Teacher.

“Gretchen Warren has undertaken a monumental task and has completed it with distinction. Obviously, a labor of love, this book’s attention to detail and the clarity of its text and photos make it a valuable contribution to the lexicon of ballet. I recommend it to every serious student and teacher.”–Thalia Mara, Founding Director, Ballet Repertory Company and National Academy of Ballet; Artistic Director, U.S.A. International Ballet Competition.

“Congratulations to Ms. Warren for her authoritative book on classical ballet. Thanks are in order too from the many professional teachers, dancers, and students of the art form who will benefit from this book-an essential addition to any dance lover’s library.”–Lawrence Rhodes, Artistic Director, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.

This one is a must for older students and adults who are studying the art of classical ballet in a more serious way.

Celestial Bodies: How to Look at Ballet

A distinguished dance critic offers an enchanting introduction to the art of ballet

As much as we may enjoy Swan Lake or The Nutcracker, for many of us ballet is a foreign language.

Ballet as an art communicates through movement, not words, and its history lies almost entirely abroad–in Russia, Italy, and France.

In Celestial Bodies, dance critic Laura Jacobs makes the foreign familiar, providing a lively, poetic, and uniquely accessible introduction to the world of classical dance.

This ballet book combines history, interviews with dancers, technical definitions, descriptions of performances, and personal stories, Jacobs offers an intimate and passionate guide to watching ballet and understanding the central elements of choreography.

Beautifully written and elegantly illustrated with original drawings, Celestial Bodies is essential reading for all lovers of this magnificent art form.

Some more great ballet books adults and children will love that can be purchased online through Amazon.

14 thoughts on “Ballet Books Adults And Children Will Love”

  1. I was really excited to find this post because I am a teen and a dancer and I have never enjoyed reading, but I think these types of books could turn me into an avid reader.

    These books could help with all of the dancer’s problems and steps and I am excited to read some of these books you have listed. 

    Thank you for sharing this important article.

    • You should find something you enjoy here, especially if you are a dancer and maybe we can turn you into a reader that enjoys reading.

  2. Hi, I do see something like this on TV but i never knew the history or anything about it, and I’ve also seen an article like this before. The most amazing part is how they keep their body straight and energetic, this must be really classic. I’m beginning to like this, nice post.

  3. Hi Michel. Thanks to you for writing this great, informative and educative post about Ballet books. I love choreographers and I do dance a lot. The working hours are getting hold of me but I dance when I have the chance lol. I kinda like the Ballet: The Definitive Illustrated Story book. I’m definitely going to check it out. Thanks 

  4. Hello,

    My first niece started dancing ballet at 3years old but her parents withdrew her for financial reasons at five and she’s now eleven but  has always talked very fondly about whatever she remembers of her time dancing ballet all of the time. She now does other sports like soccer and track. While I was going through your post,I was thinking of how she would love these books. I don’t know if her parents would be very happy with me for purchasing them for her(I have a feeling she might pester them to register her again after reading them), but I’m definitely gonna get two or three for her. I might just make her bookmark your blog too. If she isn’t dancing ballet, she might as well enjoy reading about Ballet.

    • You may not be too popular with her parents if she wants to take it up again, but nevertheless any child, even if they don’t dance will have fun with these books.

  5. Wow, this is really interesting. 

    Although I don’t like dancing because I don’t really know how to dance. I really find all these wonderful collections of ballet books in this article interesting and unique. 

    I wouldn’t mind a few lessons to teach my feet what to do, but not sure if any studios would take adult men for a few classes. 

    • We run an adult ballet class and have a man in it. He has enjoyed the lessons so much that he has stayed for over a year already.

      If you just want to learn a few dance moves, why not sign up for a few ballroom classes. Every man should know how to dance with a lady at a dance.

  6. Thanks for writing this review on ballet books adults and children. 

    One thing I like about this review is that you have made use of these ballet books and it really amazing and somehow I feel like read reading more and more about these ballet books. Some of the advantages of ballet is that it is useful for your kids’ psychological well-being. 

    They can feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in their dancing. These ballet dance books are just the perfect buy for my cousin because she is a ballet dancer and she will really appreciate them.

  7. This was a wonderful article on ballet books and there is no doubt they are ones that can be loved by both children and adults. I am a big fan of the world of dancing, I think it is a beautiful medium to express every emotion known to humanity, and there is a limitless variety of dance styles to select from, to include ballet.

    I have two daughters who are now grown, and they have children at this point. They are all dancers and have been since I enrolled the two when they were young. The daughters have carried this on by enrolling their kids into dance school, and they too are enjoying the experience.

    I have forwarded this article to both of the girls for their use, and likely I will add one or two of your selections to my library as well. All of us will be able to enjoy these and it will also provide some consistency to what the grandchildren see at home and when visiting our house.

    Whether it is ‘The Ballet Book’ or ‘The Child’s Introduction To  Ballet: The Stories, Music, and Magic of Classical Dance…” or the other two you mention, all will be welcome additions to the household and I am looking forward to ordering them and getting delivered. Thanks for the tips, wonderful! 

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Dave. Thank you for keeping dance alive and well through your family and great to know that they are all enjoying their classes.

  8. Hello Michel,

    This is a fabulous post on ballet dance books. A priceless collection you have made. All the adult’s books could be of great reference.
    During my school days, I loved reading dance books. In fact, it was not about reading, but rather for the colorful pictures the book contains. I was always fascinated and felt excited when I watched the beauty of the ballerinas with their attractive costumes and slim figures. Of course in their perfect poses. Really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks a lot for sharing this valuable post.

    Warm wishes,


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