I rec'd my copy of this book in yesterday's mail. At first glance it is very detailed. How useful all this detail actually is remains to be seen. After a brief two page introductory chapter, Chapter Two, entitled "General Instruction" dives into the following: Posture, Lean, Lead, Flow and Stroking, Back-to-forward transition, General Technique, Unison, Introductions to dances, Comments on patterns, Tracking and tracker, Knee action, and Etiquette. Other Chapters provide incite to Dance Positions, Dance Steps, Dance Turns, Beginning Dances (the RB is not listed but that is no doubt a reflection of the passage of time since this book was published in1980), Intermediate Dances, Advanced Dances, International Dances, plus Dance diagram abbreviations and symbols and a Glossary. There is a blizzard of small photos which attempt to capture key technique elements--it is always dubious as to whether or not authors of any book are able to capture the flow of a complex action with a series of still photos, but hopefully these authors occasionally succeeded. Close examination will reveal whether they did or not.
While no book can replace good coaching, if I learn a handful of things or just clean up a bit of fuzzy coach-to-student logic by reading, then it will have easily returned the purchase price ($3.15). Actually, the shipping charge cost more than the book. My hard bound copy came with a little card from the publisher indicating an error in this first edition involving the transposition of two figure captions, but if that's the only production goof then they are well above average and at least they took the time to point out the mistake. So at first impression this book, while dated, is dense with information that will no doubt require careful reading and rereading. I'm not worried that the information is 37+ years old; pattern dances, like the ice we skate on, probably hasn't changed much--and at this juncture "Ice Dancing Illustrated" is the only book addressing the subject of compulsory dances that I've tripped across.