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Thorndyke Thoughts: Dancing Feet

Thorndyke the Bear's Foot

 

Hey Kids,

Misty Copeland has been chosen as the honorary chair for National Library Week. Mark your calendars for April 8-14, because it will be a great week to celebrate our fabulous library. Misty Copeland is an accomplished ballet dancer and author, so she knows a lot about telling a good story in many different ways. I've included some suggestions below, some books about interesting dancers and of course, those by Misty Copeland herself.

Enjoy your National Library Week celebrations. Bear Hugs,

Thorndyke

Nonfiction

Amalia Hernandez (1917-2000) was the dancer and choreographer who founded the amazing Mexican Folkloric Ballet, a dance organization that continues to perform today. 

An introduction to one of the most famous ballerinas in history describes how she was inspired to pursue dancing after going to the ballet as a child and how her achievements have inspired subsequent generations of dancers.

Ballerina Maria Tallchief describes her childhood on an Osage reservation, the development of her love of dance, and her rise to success in that field.

A look at the realities of studying at the Alvin Ailey Dance School.

No black ballerina had ever danced with a major American touring troupe before. Raven would be the first. All Raven Wilkinson wanted to do was dance. On Raven's ninth birthday, her uncle gifted her with ballet lessons, and she completely fell in love. This beautiful picture book tells the uplifting story of the first African American ballerina to ever dance with a major American touring troupe and how she became a huge inspiration for Misty Copeland. 

In a picture book portrait of the artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a boy discovers his passion for dance, overcomes a childhood disability, and becomes a modern hero.

In this invigorating, humorous, and thought-provoking oral autobiography, Alan Govenar captures the sound and spirit of Norma Miller's voice as she recalls her early years and coming of age as a determined young dancer during the heyday of swing. 

To dance : a memoir by Siena Cherson Siegel

The author describes how she first decided she wanted to be a ballerina at the age of six, and how that dream carried her from her home in Puerto Rico to dance class in Boston to performing with the New York City Ballet.

Profiles the careers of sixteen dancers, including ballerina Gillian Murphy, modern dancer David Leventhal, Broadway performer Jamal Story, and others.

Also available in: e-audiobook

The memoir of Michaela DePrince, who lived the first few years of her live in war-torn Sierra Leone until being adopted by an American Family. Now seventeen, she is one of the premiere ballerinas in the United States.

Also available in: e-book

The first female African American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre history recounts her road to stardom, from her first ballet class to her rise through the professional ranks while dealing with a challenging home life.

Fiction

Firebird by Misty Copeland
Also available in: e-book

American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own, by telling her that she, too, had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when she was starting out, and that some day, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. 

The cranky ballerina by Elise Gravel

Saturdays make Ada cranky because that's the day of her ballet class, and she hates ballet.

Also available in: video | e-video

A young girl growing up in Harlem in the 1950s, whose mother cleans and stitches costumes for a ballet company, dreams of becoming a prima ballerina one day, and is thrilled to see a performance of Janet Collins, the first "colored" prima ballerina.

Emma and Julia love ballet by Barbara McClintock

A story that follows the everyday life of two girls, one a professional ballerina, the other a student, both of whom love ballet.

Ribbons by Laurence Yep

A promising young ballet student cannot afford to continue lessons when her Chinese grandmother emigrates from Hong Kong, creating jealousy and conflict among the entire family.

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