A novel about dance, artistic dreams, and overowering shyness.
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Glen C Strathy
Gold Medal - 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards
2011 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award
Ever since her grandparents gave her a DVD of Swan Lake, twelve-year old Jenny Spark has wanted to be a dancer. But on her first day of ballet class, she suffers a panic attack and makes a horrifying discovery. She’s terrified of dancing in front of the other kids, and as for actually performing for an audience? Forget it.
Yet Jenny refuses to give up her dream. With determination and a little ingenuity, she finds ways to observe ballet classes without actually participating. She trains in the safety of her room, while hiding the truth from her parents. Then Jenny meets her exact opposite: Ara Reyes, an outgoing, spontaneous, and accident-prone girl who loves dancing but has always been overlooked.
The girls’ friendship blossoms as they help each other uncover their real talents. Ara’s dancing takes a leap forward and Jenny discovers she has an amazing gift for choreography. With the support of the school’s newest teacher, Jenny’s original ballet might just make it on stage … but will she?
Charming and inspiring, Dancing on the Inside shows how pursuing our passions can often lead to wonderful and unexpected results.
As she was getting ready for bed that night, Jenny bent down and picked up a pair of pyjamas that had fallen on the floor—without bending her knees. Straightening, she suddenly realized that, two months ago, she couldn’t have done that. She looked down at her legs, which had been firmed by hundreds of rélevés. She had changed in these past two months. And yet, she was just beginning. How much more was there to discover? How much further could she change if she had the chance?
There was something missing in her. A hole that dance promised to fill. It had called to her that first time she saw the DVD of Swan Lake, and it was calling even more strongly now.
Jenny decided that somehow she had to get back into that studio, and with her parents blessing next time. She didn’t know exactly how to do it. She just knew she would.
Reviewed by Jocelyn Reekie, CM Magazine
The journey Strathy takes readers on as Jenny finds friendship, along with her real talent, and learns how to make her own dreams come true, is emotionally gripping, and the ballet world the author takes readers into is authentic and exciting enough to make even more girls decide that, perhaps, some form of dance is for them.
Reviewed by Lynda Coker, Review from Here
This story written for 'Tweens' is so good that it will transcend that age group. The story plot seems deceptively simple, but it unfurls with complexity. And Jenny is a character you can take into your heart. One that is vulnerable and shackled by her shyness, but who struggles to stay close to the thing she loves most...any way she can. Overcoming pride, guilt, and inadequacy, she moves painstakingly toward her goal. This is my first read by author Glen C. Strathy and I highly recommend his style and voice. His ability to get inside the head and heart of his young subject, Jenny, is a spark of pure talent, with just a sprinkle of magical insight. BE SURE TO PUT THIS ONE ON YOUR CHILD'S READING SHELF.
Review by Children's Bookwatch/Midwest Book Review
Dancing On the Inside is a fine and very much recommended read for younger readers who may be facing stage fright themselves.
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Reader Reviews for "Dancing on the Inside"
|Reviewed by Glen Strathy
|Reader Comments I've Received:
“...perfect for any little girl who dreams of learning to dance, especially if she is too shy to do it.” lostinalibrary at Librarything
“... a story that is enchanting, fast paced and definitely inspiring." - Fran Lewis, BookPleasures.com
“...easily captures your heart. A must read for all aspiring ballerinas everywhere!” - margaretsings at Librarything.com
“...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.” - Kelsey Paige at Goodreads.com
"... one of the most endearing books I have read in a while." - RitaReviews.blogspot.com
"An excellent story for the young girl reader." - awolfe at LibraryThing.com
“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.” - The Shibby at www.amazon.com
“...a nice story of friendship and the importance of finding a way to overcome your fears and finding a way to do what you love.” - Rebecca at amazon.com
“I loved this book and wished it could have lasted longer. I grew up taking ballet lessons as a child, and from the very beginning of the book, I immediately identified with the main character, Jenny.” - SaritaD at Librarything.com
“[Dancing on the Inside] ... makes us value ourselves more, treasure friendships, to see the shimmer in ourselves instead of our flaws, to be brave enough to pursue our dreams, instead of being afraid to try and fail” - Avry15 at Librarything.com
“Jenny is such a beautiful, lovable character. Great book!” - coffeenut1992 on Librarything
“This book is fantastic for tweens, teens, or the teen at heart, especially if they have a love of the arts!” - Tillie Nutter at www.anuttierlife.com
“What a delightful read! Dancing on the Inside is a stirring story about a young girl's journey through ballet school and what she discovers about dance, herself and how dreams really can come true.”
- Peggy Hooke, Etobicoke, Ontario