I have been provided an opportunity from Katie Flasher, AKA The Girl with the Tree Tattoo to read her newest book “The Solo Practice Guide from Ballroom Dancing”.
I am a huge fan of hers and of her previous books in the “Dance Diaries” series, and her newest book is by far her best of the three.
Even though it is essentially a ‘how to’ book, it doesn’t read like one and in addition to the strategies and sharing her own experiences the book includes a number of additional resources including worksheets, calendars and videos. Katie has also created a facebook group which can be joined by purchasers of the book to share their own experiences, tips and insights, as well as get updates on the resource website.
The book is exceptionally well thought out and organized. It’s chapters cover Why, Where, and What to include in your solo practice as well as sections on supplemental exercises to consider, and overall mindset–some of the psychological barriers and how to overcome them. Each section follows a logical sequence and Katie does an exceptional job of tying all the chapters together and relating them to the resources she provides.
Being someone who does and has been doing solo practice for a number of years now, many of the strategies Katie outlines in her book are almost exactly the same as those I use myself.
The best thing about the strategies are that they are versatile and adaptable for any dancer doing any style. Rather than give a precise syllabus, Katie focuses on providing tools to help a dancer be more organized and consistent in their solo practice so that they can achieve maximum benefit from it. All of the strategies are based on her own experiences which she adeptly weaves throughout the guide.
One of Katie’s biggest recommendations throughout, which I wholeheartedly agree with and also recommend, is to always keep your instructor involved. Even though you are practicing on your own, your instructor’s input is an essential part of the progress.
Whether you are new to dance or new to solo practice or a dancing veteran, anyone can benefit from the information in the guide. Even for myself, there were a couple of new tips and considerations which I will likely incorporate in my own solo practice.
The bottom line for this guide is that if you follow the tips and strategies in contains you can’t go wrong.
You will only improve.
The book is available for pre-order now at https://thegirlwiththetreetattoo.lpages.co/solo-practice-guide-preorders/