"This is a great book about finding--and fighting to do--something you love, despite the obstacles. Jenny's crippling shyness would make a career like ballet seem out of the question, but she doesn't let it stop her, practicing in secret instead and, for the first time, acting against her parents' wishes. Her unlikely friendship with the bubbly, outgoing Ara works beautifully. I love how "friendship" in this book goes beyond two people with shared interests enjoying each other's company. Ara and Jenny's opposite personalities actually complement each other and help bring the girls closer together. Ara gives Jenny that extra boost she needs when she's about to give up on dancing altogether, and Jenny helps pull Ara back down to earth when she gets a bit too carried away. Neither changes the other, but they each become a better person for it.
"Another aspect I loved about Dancing on the Inside was the glimpse it provided into the behind the scenes life of ballet. The information didn't feel overwhelming, nor did it interrupt the flow of the story, but it gave me enough to form a vibrant picture.
"The book sends an encouraging message to anyone aspiring in the arts. In spite of Jenny's ongoing fear of being seen dancing, she manages to find a creative solution to do what she really loves.
"...I would recommend this for preteens or even young adults. The wording's simple enough for a young audience, but I (a nineteen-year-old) didn't feel like it was talking down to me, and the storyline held my attention."
- Kelsey Paige on Goodreads
“Dancing on the Inside” was a wonderful read. It was believable, interesting, and engaging – so much so, in fact, that I read it in one go! This story touched my heart, and I am sure it will do the same to others; how could it not? The main character is great: she has her faults, but they do not truly detract from her person; in fact, they make her all the more real. The other characters are all relatable, too, which makes the flow of the story all the better.
“This is an amazing tale that allows the reader to see how dreams can come true in realistic settings – even dreams that are unknown at the time! It also shows how the parental figures in a young person’s life can mean well, and yet do a bit of damage at the same time – this is important for this story because it really brings the reality of the entire thing home to the reader. Seeing the drama that can unfold in any given moment for the main character, who already struggles with her own drawbacks, lets the reader step back and recall their own personal dramas - and their subsequent victories.
“Throughout the entirety of Dancing on the Inside I wanted to know what happened next; what else would this girl dream up that would make her happier? What other antics would the other characters get up to that would alter the desires of the main character? So intriguing and touching was this story that I not only had to keep reading, but towards the end I was fighting back tears of joy for her successes and her personal growth!
“While this story is not my usual type of read by any stretch of the imagination, I am beyond glad that I decided to take a leap and go for it. This will be not only one of my favourite stories to re-read, but one that I will read to my daughters, too, because it is just the type of story to motivate them and get their own dreams flying.”
- Shibby at LibraryThing