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Wondering what to get that ballroom dancer on your gift list? Look no further than “Ballroom Icons.”

Did you ever wonder how ballroom dancing got to where it is today? Brigitt Mayer-Karakis, a top-ranked professional dancer and now a world-renowned judge, spent years recording and preserving the remarkable stories of the most influential figures of the ballroom world before they are lost forever. The result is Ballroom Icons, a profound book with stunning original photography by Brigitt’s father, U.H. Mayer.

Through comprehensive interviews and painstaking research, Brigitt tells the stories of 64 of these remarkable icons. It’s a fascinating study. We see the character qualities of the people who shaped the dances we see today. We get thrown into the midst of intense battles of wills and the personalities behind them. We gain insight into the challenges the dance world faced and how they were overcome.

I love this book and still turn to it frequently for insights and understanding. It’s so rich with information it belongs in every serious dancer’s library.

Ballroom Icons is beautifully designed. Onion-skin pages divide key sections. Stunning black-and-white photography is used throughout.

The book is printed on acid-free archival paper, and is packaged in a beautiful elegant gray hard-shell slipcase, imprinted with the title of the book on the front and spine. A notched edge on the slipcase makes it easy to open.

The book itself features a thick onion-skin flyleaf dust jacket with a high-gloss varnish to highlight the cover photo underneath, reflecting the glamour of ballroom dancing even before you open the cover.

Throughout the book, onion-skin flyleaf inserts featuring memorable dance quotes add elegance and sophistication to your reading experience.

Inside, you’ll find a center foldout panel featuring photographs of the icons in action, and the signatures of 46 icons, creating a special highlight in the middle of the book.

Two different sections of historical notes gives you tremendous insight into the development of ballroom dancing, and the many challenges the dances faced through years of war and other times. At the back you’ll find pages of commentaries by today’s top champions about the icons and their influence on their own dancing careers. At $140 it’s not a small investment but worth every penny.

The 5-lb book measures 9 x 12 inches and contains 295 pages. Order your copy at

George Pytlik

Author George Pytlik

Before turning pro, George achieved impressive results as an amateur competitor, holding the Senior (30+) Latin championship in BC, Canada for 7 consecutive years with his wife Wendy. The couple twice achieved a top-3 Canadian ranking in Senior Latin as well as a 3rd place Canadian ranking in 30+ Ten Dance. Today, George and Wendy are professional teachers with a vision of growing a strong dance community in Delta near Vancouver, BC.

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