Book Review – Thinner, Fitter, Happier: Dancing Will Change Your Life! by Marion C. Condon

Marion is a fellow ballroom student and writer, and we exchanged books to read and review each other’s work. Thinner, Fitter, Happier… is a compilation of Marion’s personal ballroom journey, interviews with ballroom students and teachers, and a wealth of scientific evidence, designed to convince you that you shouldn’t wait another minute to try dance.

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I really enjoyed reading all of the different stories that people shared with Marion, including some from Ballroom Village members! I already knew how life-changing ballroom can be, but these stories of transformation never cease to amaze me.

Marion’s personality comes through in her writing. You can tell she’s highly intelligent and educated even before you learn she is a professor with a PhD, and she gets very excited when she gets to talk (or write) about her ballroom passion. Sometimes her mind seemed to get a little distracted in her excitement, as the writing occasionally went off on tangents. Her sense of humor, often self-deprecating like mine, was also weaved into her writing, which made it feel like you were having a conversation with a really smart friend instead of listening to a lecture.

One unique aspect of the book is it’s interactive! As Marion shares stories of other dancers, she also provides YouTube links so you can actually watch the people perform as you’re learning about them! For those who like hard facts and scientific proof of the benefits before entering into something like ballroom, she also provides references and links to the various studies cited throughout the book.

Despite the slightly disorganized feel of some parts, I was impressed with all of the interviews that Marion collected and shared in Thinner, Fitter, Happier… She didn’t stop at ballroom; she also interviewed teachers and students of west coast swing, hustle, salsa and urban dance like hip hop. The second half of the book’s title says it all. No matter which style of dance you try, dancing will change your life!

You can purchase Marion’s book on Amazon.

Dear DWTS Contestants: Welcome to Ballroom! (Write31Days Day 2)

After some exciting progress with my writing, from publishing my first eBook to getting another article published on Dance Advantage, I took a break on Monday night to watch Week 3 of Dancing with the Stars.  It seemed like it was a challenging week for the various celebrities as they started to realize that the show was actually a competition and they actually needed to learn and dance ballroom if they were going to stay.  And ballroom dancing is hard!

All of the demons started coming out, and I heard so many things that sounded so familiar!  “I’ve been abandoned before, I’m scared, I’m not sexy, I can’t do this, why can’t I get this right?!”  People were having trouble connecting with their pro partners and feeling uncomfortable with the close physical contact. Someone even brought up the blurry line that is the pro-am relationship (teacher or friend?).  I couldn’t help myself; I had to write about it.

First, to all of the remaining Dancing with the Stars contestants, I would like to say welcome!

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