Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Today's read... Dance Stance by Once Upon a Dance

 Today's read is one, which should thrill young, ballet dreamers. Written by a ballet professional, it targets girls ages 5 to 8 (about), who want to learn ballet. The purpose is to point out things such as posture and other important aspects, which will help young dancers know exactly what they should be watching out for. I'm expecting it to be quite fun...more because of that cute little kitty on the cover. I believe this one is non-fiction (haven't read it quite yet), too.

So put on those leotards and do a bit of stretching first because we're going to have some dancing fun.

Dance Stance
by Once Upon a Dance
Chapter Book
64 pages
ages 5 to 9

Once Upon a Dance donates all proceeds to charity.

Aspiring dancers adore the clever mix of wit, wisdom, anecdotes, and how-to instruction from a professional ballerina. Throughout the award-winning debut of ballet inspiration, young readers explore posture while standing, on tiptoes, and on one leg. A tutu-wearing kitty sidekick joins Ballerina Konora and friends, adding humor and lighthearted encouragement.

Brought to you by the mother-daugther team of Once Upon a Dance, with over 20 awards for their Dance-It-Out! and Dancing Shapes series for younger audiences. Dance Stance debuts their trilogy for kids ages 8+.

Once Upon a Dance series also includes Dance-It-Out! Creative Movement Stories and Dancing Shapes: Ballet and Body Awareness for Young Dancers.

Link for the book

Posture and position with encouraging words and a personal touch are only a few nuggets of goodness inside these pages.
This book is all about dance stance, and while that might sound simple, there's quite a bit to it. Starting with a few, personal thoughts to the reader, the chapters then dive into the various aspects and hints to create the basic stance for ballet. It describes the importance in paying attention to positioning, while explaining exactly how that is achieved and what to look out for. There are also more than a couple short letters from ballet dancers, which offer thoughts and personal insights into dancing. And there is more than a little support and enthusiasm along the way.
This is written as if the author is directly talking to the reader, which gives it a very personal atmosphere. The reader learns exactly how to hold their feet, legs, and other parts of their body through very exact descriptions, which are accompanied by quite a few fun comparisons (zipping pants, leaning in to smell a huge pot of spaghetti). I was glad to see that it's also explained why these positions are important. The text is kept fairly short in a usual earlier chapter book style. While much of it is simple to read, there were several sections, where the writing is better geared for slightly older (lower middle grade) audiences. So, this may fit better for a slightly older audience (ages 7 to 10) in many cases.
The illustrations are full of positive vibes, add a touch of humor, and keep a perfect-ballet-feel thanks to the pastels and soft lines. These are fun to flip through, and they do offer assistance in understanding the positions described in the text, when necessary.
To top everything off, the letters from other ballerinas give words of encouragement and add a very, nice touch. Readers will realize that ballerinas, who have already been dancing/learning for awhile, are just like them. Plus, the thoughts and concerns are ones they themselves might have, at one time or another. The reader feels as if they're being embraced into the group and are truly welcome to the ballet realm. 

About the authors

Once Upon a Dance is an award-winning mother-daughter collaboration.

Ballerina Konora climbed the ballet ladder to pro, and she's thrilled to be living her dreams dancing with Ballet Idaho. Along the way, she danced iconic roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy and Cinderella.

Teacher Terrel taught dance for decades and was honored by her City Council for "embodying the spirit of partnership and commitment to children in our community" for her work with young dancers. She's breathed ballet from every angle and worked in early childhood education, for non-profits supporting kids, and as a university English teacher as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Once Upon a Dance 2021/2022 Awards: Mom’s Choice Gold Award, Family Choice Award, Royal Dragonfly First Place, PenCraft Award First Place, Firebird First Place, Pinnacle: Best Book Juvenile Fiction, Independent Press Award Winner, International Impact Book Award Winner, Outstanding Creator Awards Winner, Readers Favorite Certified Great Read, Indie’s Today 5-Star Recommended, The Wishing Shelf 5-Star, Literary Titan 5-Star Award.


Anonymous said...

What a great resource for a budding ballerina. My daughter loved dancing. She started classical training at age five and continued into college. I thought she might pursue a professional career in dance. Alas, she was wooed into the health field, but she still moves with grace and beauty.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! Love it! Kristy

Tonja Drecker said...

You must be so proud! Even if she didn't pursue it professionally, it no doubt molded her into who she is and will always stay with her.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Ballerinas! Right up your alley.

Tonja Drecker said...

Lol! You're not wrong. (And I totally spaced IWSG this month)