There are so many great dance books for pre-teens and teens – so many inspiring stores. Check out these wonderful, inspirational stories, guaranteed to inspire any young dancer with big dreams. Check out the stories of Debbie Allen, Michaela de Prince, Maddie Ziegler and Misty Copeland.
Dancing in the Wings
Sassy is a long-legged girl who always has something to say. She wants to be a ballerina more than anything, but she worries that her too-large feet, too-long legs, and even her big mouth will keep her from her dream. When a famous director comes to visit her class, Sassy does her best to get his attention with her high jumps and bright leotard. Her first attempts are definitely not appreciated, but with Sassy’s persistence, she just might be able to win him over. Dancing in the Wings is loosely based on actress/choreographer Debbie Allen’s own experiences as a young dancer.
Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
The extraordinary memoir of an orphan who danced her way from war-torn Sierra Leone to ballet stardom, most recently appearing in Beyonce’s Lemonade and as a principal in a major American dance company.
“Michaela is nothing short of a miracle, born to be a ballerina. For every young brown, yellow, and purple dancer, she is an inspiration!” —Misty Copeland, world-renowned ballet dancer
The Maddie Diaries
Maddie Ziegler had hoped to become a star—she just didn’t know how soon that day would come. At just eight years old, she was cast on Lifetime’s hit reality show Dance Moms and quickly won the hearts of fans everywhere with her natural talent and determination. Soon, she was catching eyes all over—including those of pop superstar Sia, who handpicked her to star in the incredibly popular music video “Chandelier.” The rest, as they say, was history.
In this inspirational memoir, Maddie explains the hard work she put into her rise to stardom and how she keeps her balance along the way—starring in music videos, going on tour, and becoming an actress in The Book of Henry with Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay. She also answers her fans’ burning questions with wise advice she’s learned on her journey. With honesty, charm, and humor, Maddie offers her unique perspective on making her way in the world as a young teenager, reflecting on the lessons she’s learned—and preparing for the exciting road ahead.
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina Young Readers Edition – Misty Copeland
Determination meets dance in this middle grade adaptation of the New York Times bestselling memoir by the first African-American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre history, Misty Copeland.
As the first African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has been breaking down all kinds of barriers in the world of dance. But when she first started dancing—at the late age of thirteen—no one would have guessed the shy, underprivileged girl would one day make history in her field.
Her road to excellence was not easy—a chaotic home life, with several siblings and a single mother, was a stark contrast to the control and comfort she found on stage. And when her home life and incredible dance promise begin to clash, Misty had to learn to stand up for herself and navigate a complex relationship with her mother, while pursuing her ballet dreams.
Life in Motion is a story for all the kids who dare to be different, dream bigger, and want to break stereotypes in whatever they do.