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Books for Inspiring Dance

Dancer in Brazil by Diego Rosa on Unsplash.jpg



Looking for inspiration to start your next dance party? Maybe you just need a rest from an endless succession of dance breaks?

Try some of the dance-themed reads listed below. Those intended for older audiences are further down. Those at the beginning might be appreciated by all ages.

And of course, there are always more dance books to be found in our library catalog. Use the search options to browse our collections, you can use keywords and subject headings to find different lists of items to browse. You can also ask a librarian for assistance.

Flora and the peacocks by Molly Schaar Idle
Also available in: e-book

In this wordless book with interactive flaps, a little girl named Flora forms a friendship with two peacocks as the three learn to dance together. You can find Flora in many other books if you can't get enough. She's also on Hoopla.

Also available in: e-book

Here is a songbook, a storybook, a poetry collection, and much more, all rolled into one. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers will delight in sharing this exuberant book with the children in their lives.

Firebird by Misty Copeland
Also available in: e-book

Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own. She says that someday, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. Includes author's note about dancers who led her to find her voice.

Ogden is a gnarly, person-eating ogre . . . with the dream of becoming a dancer. But no one will dance with him - not when they think they're going to be his next meal! A beastly laugh-out-loud story. 

Sunny by Jason Reynolds
Also available in: e-book

Sunny, the Defenders' best runner, only runs for his father, who blames Sunny for his mother's death, but with his coach's help Sunny finds a way to combine track and field with his true passion, dancing.

Becoming Beatriz by Tami Charles
Also available in: e-book

In 1984 Newark, Beatriz Mendez navigates romance, gang culture, and her family's past. After her gang-leader brother is killed, Beatriz gives up her dreams of dancing in order to run the gang. But her eyes are reopened to her dream of a career in dance when the school brainiac asks her to compete in a dance competition with him--but will the gang let her go?

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

A collection of twenty-two favorite fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, including The Twelve Dancing Princesses. These twelve princesses dance their shoes to shreds each night in spite of being locked in their room. Who can solve the mystery? The story is also available on its own as an audiobook on Hoopla.

I wanna be where you are by Kristina Forest
Also available in: e-audiobook

After her mother forbids her from applying to the dance conservatory of her dreams, Chloe Pierce devises a plan to get to the audition, but her neighbor Eli insists on traveling with her.

Swing time by Zadie Smith
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

Two brown girls dream of being dancers--but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas about rhythm and time. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either. Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend Aimee leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world. Aimee's travels show her there are many ways of dancing beyond the limitations of her childhood.

Also available in: e-book | large print

This is a lively, heartwarming memoir of a performer who still thinks of himself as a "simple song-and-dance man," but who is, in every sense of the word, a classic entertainer.

Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker-actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world.