Dance and Fitness Trends Book Reviews

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Booklist, January 1 & 15, 2015

On African Dance Trends, Get Fit with Video Workouts, Line Dances Around the World, and Zumba Fitness

The Dance & Fitness Trends series looks at difrerent ways to move, get fit, or dance for enjoyment—often all three at once. The books include the history of the dances, important figures who pushed it to popularity, what the dance entails, and the skills required. African Dance Trends begins on the African continent and then discusses the slave trade, which was how African dance was brought to the Americas. Covered in some detail are modern African dance teachers and groups, the positive effects on both culture and health, and how to get started in African dance. Get Fit with Video Workouts introduces readers to the craze begun in the 1980s by Jane Fonda (though Jack LaLane was the real godfather of the movement from the 1950s on). The book delves into the phenomenon of infomercials and offers suggestions about choosing and evaluating workout videos. Line Dances Around the World covers everything from salsa to square dancing to Israeli folk dances. Though Zumba Fitness feels like a commercial at times, Zumba's founder, Bero Perez, is ably profiled, and the author describes how young people can learn Zumba for themselves. All the books feature lively color photographs that just might convince kids to get up off the couch.

Booklist, October 1, 2014

On The World of CrossFit

This deceptively slim volume in the Dance and Fitness Trends series packs a lot of no-nonsense, practical information into brief, accessible chapters. Its intent is to both cover basic information and provide support and inspiration. Content addresses several aspects of CrossFit training, such as typical activities and workouts and focus and determination, in addition to other current fitness initiatives. Safety concerns, such as the importance of proper conditioning and working with licensed professionals, are stressed throughout. The author identifies and discusses potential hazards, such as overdoing exercises or performing them improperly. Profiles of teens and young adults who have benefited from cross-training are included, and these personal accounts, along with the numerous full-color, full-page photos and a graphics-heavy layout, will attract readers. Aspiring athletes and fitness enthusiasts will appreciate the direct approach.