I had such conflicting emotions on it. I was so curious on what she could have possibly put into a book. She is a friend of mine and I know how smart and savy she can be but I couldn’t wrap my head around how she might have approached it. I will admit I stalked the book for quite a while debating on if I should get it or not, especially since I had recently been bummed by a different book.
I straight up loved this book and would wholeheartedly recommend it, especially if you are taking a go at competing on your own. It isn’t a formula for success but it will help you minimize a bunch of stress and stupid point loss so you can focus on making your dancing shine. I found myself nodding my head through most of the book going, “yeahhhh been there, ooo good she put that in or hmm I didn’t think of that.” So why do I love it so much?
The handbook is written in Jennifer’s own voice and mannerisms. Reading it is like having a conversation with her and I hear her special sassy-isms in it. She also keeps it personal by sharing some of her own stories, which really help put her points in context.
It was well organized with an easy to follow progression and flow. It was easy to understand and I wanted to keep reading on.
Where Content is King:
Jennifer manages to put a lot of information into a not so large book, and I do mean a lot. She covers a range of valuable information from stuff that may slip our minds to the important topic of burnout. (I was surprised but very happy that was in there.) I don’t want to ruin the fun by going over all the topics in the book but it is quite amazing how she covered important key information on everything way before, right before, during and after your competition performance.
I have been very fortunate to study with several amazing and generous teachers. Much of what I have learned about competing has come from them combined with my own experience over the course of years. This book will not replace all the benefits of having a coach and mentor but it will sure help if you don’t have access to one or as a reminder and reinforcer.
She tries to be balanced in her information and give different viewpoints. She discusses why some people support competing and why others do not and why some people shouldn’t compete. She even adds in about people who get choreographers to make their pieces. That topic is a huge personal pet peeve but I respect that she put a fair view in.
I don’t like ebooks. It is a personal preference. It would be my only dislike of the book but for this last tidbit it is an advantage. The content can change. A lot of people asked her about judging so she made a revision and added it in. She recently added in her plan of attack and results for several major competitions. As I said at the beginning, I like hearing how other dancers approach competing and I liked getting to see the inner workings of her mind so this was a big bonus for me.
I like to give honest reviews but it was very hard for me to come up with dislikes about the book. I went into reading it the first time with the expectation to be bummed out again and I was really surprised and pleased. I fully support this book and think is a great resource for bellydance competitions. If you are interested in purchasing it, you can find it here: http://bellydancebyjennifer.com/shop/bellydance-competition-handbook
I am excited to get back out into dance travel and I look forward to seeing you at upcoming festivals and bellydance competitions, make sure to say hi. I swear one day I will get the hang of this regular blog thing, in the meantime if you have something you would like me to review please make sure to Contact me.
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