The Dance Teacher by Simon Milne and Chantal Stewart

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The Dance Teacher by Simon Milne and Chantal Stewart

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A timeless tale of a young girl's big dreams to be a ballerina, this is beautifully done for dancers and non-dancers alike
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1743313312

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Miss Sylvie is a dance teacher to the many girls and boys in her town. One day, a little girl called Isabelle walks through her door and says she wants to start ballet, so she joins the Saturday class. As months and then years pass, some friends come and go, and others try different forms of dancing, but only Isabelle sticks with ballet.

Hard work pays off, especially when it comes to an art like dancing, and soon Isabelle grows beyond her dance studio and Miss Sylvie. Accepted to the prestigious dance academy in the city, she goes on to become a prima ballerina with the company, and travel the world. It’s all she ever dreamed of.

I must have owned, and repeatedly read, every book to do with dancing, both fiction and non-fiction, that was published in the 80s and 90s. I have a big frame of reference. Combine this with over twenty five years of virtually uninterrupted dancing classes, and I know what I’m looking for. My pet peeves are factual inaccuracies when it comes to moves or positions, or stories that make it look too easy. This book, as you can tell from the star rating I’ve assigned, falls down on neither of these issues.

It’s beautifully presented, with classical drawings to compliment the classical dancing, and I love that the girls train in leotards and tights rather than tutus, for their every-day classes. There’s a ballet class at my gym where the toddlers all have tutus and it makes me sick. I’m only half joking. I have fond memories of my ballet teacher, who was a lot like Miss Sylvie. While I love Dance Moms, you somehow get the feeling that Abby Lee Miller is too fierce a creature for a refined, elegant ballet class, but not Miss Sylvie. This book is welcoming. It makes you want to find a studio and start dancing. It shows that hard work is needed, but it also highlights the rewards. And the cover abides by the first rule of dance (and of Cheer): if in doubt, just add glitter.

This is a special book for any little girl. Although it’s easy to read and shaped like a picture book, I know this sort of book. It’s the kind you might get while young but will keep for years, stored with all your other dance books, even when you’re as old as Isabelle grows up to be. Because this is a book of dreams, and dreams never grow old.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book. It's beautiful and timeless, and I cherished it.

My Ballet Dream by Adele Geras and Shelagh McNicholas also needs to be in your dance books collection.

Buy The Dance Teacher by Simon Milne and Chantal Stewart at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dance Teacher by Simon Milne and Chantal Stewart at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Dance Teacher by Simon Milne and Chantal Stewart at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dance Teacher by Simon Milne and Chantal Stewart at Amazon.com.


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