NEW YORK, October 20, 2014. Professional dancer-turned-choreographer-turned-producer Matthew Shaffer expands his multi-hyphenate portfolio to include “published author” by landing a book deal with Taylor Trade Publishing, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield. So You Want to Be a Dancer, Shaffer’s tell-all autobiography and instructional book about the dance world, will publish in the spring of 2015.

In So You Want to Be a Dancer, national talent judge Shaffer blends his hallmark #DanceNotes—helpful tips geared to inspire the next generation of dancers—with equal helpings of pop culture and brassiness. This autobiography humorously recounts outrageously true stories about Shaffer’s life as a professional dancer while delivering practical advice and industry insight providing an enticing read for anyone who’s ever dared to dream.

“It’s a pleasure to add Matthew to our roster of first-time authors,” Taylor publisher Rick Rinehart says. “His energy, talent, and wisdom exude from every page. It’s a delight to be working with him.”

Shaffer’s more than twenty years as a performer, choreographer, director, and Broadway collaborator, writer, and producer have allowed him opportunities to work with celebrities such as Rosie O’Donnell, Megan Mullaly, Ben Stiller, and the elite competition team of Dance Moms. So You Want to Be a Dancer divulges how to break into the industry and what to do next—from how to audition and book a job to dealing with movie stars on-set.

So You Want to Be a Dancer digs deeper than most tell-alls by providing additional advice on transitioning from a studio dancer to a working professional, exploring universities, dealing with diva choreographers, finding an agent, deciding which city is right for you, and establishing a clear, marketable brand for yourself. So You Want to Be a Dancer is a must-read for creative entrepreneurs, aspiring artists pursuing a career in today’s social media savvy society, the question-filled parent of a child who dances or anyone who savors the heartfelt journey of an artist.

When not on tour in Europe or setting choreography for A-list celebrities, Shaffer produces trendsetting content through his production company, A Group Production (with writing, directing, and producing partner, Jeff Payton).

Growing up as a young dancer, searching the bookstore shelves for a book that would give me an inside look into the glamorous world of dance was like finding a ballerina in a hip-hop class. Sure, there were a few books that explained the basics, but I wanted to know every juicy detail! What’s it like to work on TV with famous actors? Can I earn a living doing what I love? Now that dance is the ‘cool kid’ on TV, film, stage, and online I wanted to reveal the exhilarating leaps a dancer can make, as well how to rise above the unavoidable stumbles every performer will experience. It’s my hope that a new generation of dancers will benefit from the stories and practical advice I share from my own journey, or at least get a good laugh,” states Shaffer.

Shaffer was inspired early on by variety shows such as The Carol Burnett Show, You Can’t Do That on Television, In Living Color, and Saturday Night Live, which ignited his passion for the entertainment industry. With a razor-sharp tongue and quick-witted edge, Shaffer’s hilarious banter and unique approach to storytelling is amplified in So You Want to Be a Dancer, which chronicles a journey that began at age seven, when Shaffer wrote, directed, and starred in his first production. 

After attending the prestigious Orange County High School of the Arts, Shaffer continued his professional career as a principal dancer for the world-renowned company Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Matthew has performed in, choreographed, directed, or produced more than forty projects between Broadway, film, and television. Highlighted performing roles include: Cold Case, Jackass Number Two, the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, Hansel and Gretel at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Earth to America with Jason Alexander, Broadway Cares with Rosie O’Donnell, the hit Disney XD Series Kickin’ It, and most recently, ABC Family’s Bunheads. In his spare time, Shaffer travels to educate and inspire as a master teacher at leading performing arts conservatories and conventions across the United States and Europe.

The deal was sourced and negotiated by Melissa McComas and Tsunami Worldwide Media. Taylor Trade Publishing will release So You Want to Be a Dancer by Matthew Shaffer in hardcover and eBook format in the spring of 2015 with audio and enhanced eBook to follow. 


Media Contact: Melissa Mc Comas, Literary Agent for Matthew Shaffer

Tsunami Worldwide Media

Tel: (410) 472-2123

Media Contact: Jessica Plaskett for Taylor Trade Publishing

Tel:  (203) 458-4511

To learn more about Rowman & Littlefield/Taylor Trade Publishing, please visit:

To learn more about Matthew Shaffer please visit:  and

About Rowman & Littlefield/Taylor Trade Publishing: Rowman & Littlefield’s Taylor Trade Publishing is the consolidation of many prestigious imprints acquired by Rowman & Littlefield: M. Evans, The Derrydale Press, Cooper Square Press, Roberts Rinehart Publishers, Moonlight Publishing, Madison Books, Architectural Book Publishing Company, Addax Publishing, Diamond Communications, Gulf Publishing, Vestal Publishing, Bridge Works Publishing, and Republic of Texas Press.