In ballet, as in anything that requires dedicated study, the fundamental elements are the foundation of ongoing success. Dance Stance is the newest book by the mother/daughter Once Upon a Dance team, and it is directed toward older elementary school-aged readers who are ready for more focused practice and learning. Beautiful illustrations complement the descriptive and supportive text, creating a dynamic and visually appealing story for young readers to enjoy. I particularly liked the myriad descriptions of movement and placement because it’s sometimes difficult to find exactly the right position for one’s body without a physical model to mirror. This is not only an excellent up-level to the earlier Once Upon a Dance books, it is also an important addition to any dancer’s library. Please see my full review below!
Dance is more than just the beautiful shapes that appear across a stage while set to accompanying music; in order for dancers to truly shine, the basics must first be mastered and perfected. Ballet requires very careful body awareness in order to be properly presented, and this new book by the mother/daughter Once Upon a Dance team does an excellent job connecting readers to their bodies in easily digestible ways. Written as a non-fiction book, it first includes a table of contents and a message from Ballerina Konora before the bulk of the information is presented. Each section focuses on one element of the foundational “dance stance,” and they all build upon one another as the book continues. From posture to turnout to relevé, young dancers will learn where their bodies must be in space in order to perform the featured moves correctly while avoiding injury. Though a great deal of information is included in this book, it is straightforward and invites readers to come and go as they need. This supportive and encouraging design is a hallmark of the Once Upon a Dance canon, and readers of all ages will appreciate this kind approach. Illustrations in the style of Molly Idle complement the text beautifully, incorporating lots of peach, pink, and purple into each image. Even readers who are not quite ready for the depth of the text will nonetheless be able to connect with it thanks to these stunning visuals. This inspiring and informational book is a valuable addition to any dancer’s library and it is a complement to healthy posture practice for readers of all ages, as well.
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