- Do you watch Dancing With the Stars and wonder if you could make learning those moves happen? Our Children’s Librarian Sue McCowin enjoys competitive ballroom dancing. Here’s her advice for anyone who dreams of undertaking this glamorous and challenging pursuit:
I love dancing mostly because it taught me that with persistence and lots of practice I could experience something I never thought could be possible–feeling graceful. It has also provided great exercise, as much for the mind as the body, not to mention much improved posture.The truth is, the best way to learn about ballroom dancing is to do it. Take a class or take some lessons. No book or DVD can really teach you how to move your body. What books and movies can do, though, is inspire you and help you know which dances you might like to learn. I’d recommend these DVDs:
Discover Dance: Latin
Shall We Dance This is the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film. The Richard Gere/Jennifer Lopez film with the same title but a different story is also wonderful and is available from LINKin partner libraries.
Mad Hot Ballroom is also available from LINKin partner libraries.
I’d also recommend the biography Fred Astaire by Joseph Epstein because it focuses more on Astaire’s art than on his personal life.
- Are you a runner who has considered trying a marathon? Children’s Department shelver Kathy Kanak shares her experience in making that happen.
I started running in 2006 when my older daughter signed us up to run a 5K race together. I loved running, and after seeing the Chicago Marathon as a spectator, I decided that I could train and run a marathon. I ran my first marathon in 2008, and have now run 17 marathons, including four with my daughter. I’ve run the Chicago Marathon five times, and also New York, Memphis, Milwaukee, and several others. I have a great running group that I train with, and I enjoy shorter races too. I love running because it is great exercise and is fun to do with family and friends. I love being outside, and running is fun even in winter, because you warm up when you run. Kathy recommends these books on running:
Born to Run: a hidden tribe, superathletes, and the greatest race the world has never seen by Christopher McDougall
Marathon: the ultimate training guide by Hal Higdon
Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes
The Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training by Jennifer Van Allen
Kara Goucher’s Running for Women by Kara Goucher
Whatever you would like to pursue, library materials are available to help you Make It Happen!