Ballet Books for Your Summer Reading List

Traditionally for many, the beginning of a new year marks the moment to make resolutions and set new goals; they are often related to self-care, professional ambitions, and personal relationships.

Thus we’ve compiled a list of ballet books that – albeit indirectly – may contribute to an objective you (or in some cases, a young one in your life) have your heart and mind set on to accomplish in the next twelve months. Plus, reading in itself is an action that helps us grow in many different ways.

This is a diverse nonexhaustive collection of ballet books in terms of target audience, topic, and genre so chances are you will find something that is a good fit.


  • Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet (by Jennifer Homans)
  • B Is for Ballet: A Dance Alphabet (by John Robert Allman)
  • Ballet: The Definitive Illustrated Story (by DK with forward by Viviana Durante)
  • Being a Ballerina: The Power and Perfection of a Dancing Life (Gavin Larsen)
  • A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back (by David Hallberg)
  • Boys Dance! (by John Robert Allman)
  • Bunheads (by Misty Copeland)
  • Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday (by Jordan Matter)
  • Final Bow for Yellowface (by Phil Chan)
  • Mao's Last Dancer (by Li Cunxin)*
  • The Nutcracker (by New York City Ballet)
  • The Painted Girls (by Cathy Marie Buchanan)
  • Rudolf Nureyev: The Life (by Julie Kavanagh)
  • Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina (by Michaela DePrince)
  • Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet (by Gail Grant)
  • Tiny Pretty Things (by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton)
  • Welcome to Ballet School (by Ashley Bouder)