Wednesday, November 4, 2009

tiny dancer

Our friend Keith's daughter, Ale, dressed up as a ballerina for Halloween and looking at the photos of her in her black leotard, white tights and little pink skirt made me think of the book, A Very Young Dancer for the first time in too many years to mention.
Does anyone else remember that book?

Photographer and author Jill Krementz (Kurt Vonnegut's widow) has published many books including a whole series of Very Young books; A Very Young Gymnast, A Very Young Rider, AVery Young Skater etc. When I was little, I thought they were all good, but I never loved any of them as much as A Very Young Dancer.

It's about an 10 year old girl attending the School of American Ballet who gets cast as Clara in the New York City Ballet's production of the Nutcracker.

The photos are gorgeous, and the story is told from the perspective of the young dancer, Stephanie. When I was little I poured over the book obsessively wishing one day I could be so lucky as to be in the Nutcracker.
Sadly, A Very Young Dancer is out of print, but I think I still have my copy somewhere at my parents house. At least I hope so that I can give to my one day in the future, hypothetical daughter.

I'm going to try and find it next time I visit because just thinking about it makes me wish I never stopped dancing. (that's me in the middle.)

Do you think there are ballet classes for out of shape adults?

29 comments:

Steven said...

I love that little nutcracker dancer. She is the cutest.

Clare said...

I took ballet from age 4 - 11. It was really fun. I haven't danced since and am very out of shape.

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Rebekah @ Shell Blog said...

I've never heard of those books, but am sure I would have LOVED them as a little girl. Twice a year we have a massive book sale here in Ithaca...I'll be adding these to my shopping list for the next one!

the Lost Earring said...

I don't remember those books but they sound wonderful! I did a quick eBay search and there are quite a few hardcover versions of the books for sale, so you should scoop one up if you can't find it at your parent's. Oh my gosh, when I was little I was absolutely in awe of the Nutcracker ballet dancers. The Tchaikovsy music was one of the first cassette tapes I owned as a kid. The photo of you is just too much :) Just adorable.

abigail said...

Thanks! If I don't have it at home I'll get one.
I know what you mean about the Nutcracker- I felt the same way. I think I'm going to see if I can get tickets to see it this year. Maybe I'll take my nephews.

Amanda Wright said...

I wish I had taken dance lessons as a kid. I think I would have much better posture now!

Kristin said...

If there were ballet classes for out of shape adults...I'd be all over it!

abigail said...

I checked with the ballet school in town and they do have adult classes!

As long as I don't have to wear a leotard and tights, I might do it!

Denise Fasanello said...

how wonderful! I have some old photos from my ballet school days when I was about 6. They are so funny - when all the little girls are reaching to the left I am of course, reaching to the right!

Joanna Goddard said...

oh my goodness, yes!!! i totally loved those books.

Courtney said...

Oh my gosh, I loved that book and A Very Young Skater! But since I was a dancer, I loved A Very Young Dancer the most too. I've been looking into adult ballet classes recently, but I have to admit, I'm not sure how I'd feel getting into a leotard now! Thankfully, at one place I found here, it seems optional! :)

abigail said...

There's no way I'd put on a leotard now!

Blue Satin Sashes said...

Can you imagine the joy of being a young girl who loves dancing more than anything, cast as Clara?

Haley said...

We had these same books when my 3 sisters and I were growing up...wondering now if my parents held on to them...I bet they did.

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness! Just last weekend I was tippsily telling all my friends I wanted to take start doing ballet. I must have had a dream about it...

Ariel said...

i've never heard of this book, i wish i could get my hands on a copy, the photos look amazing! and you can totally take adult ballet, my studio offers classes to adults i'm sure you can find one near you! :)

jane said...

still have my very young dancer + gymnast and they were my favorite books. i'm going to dig them out today and look through them.

nicolemw said...

I started taking ballet classes again as an adult and it's been a lot of fun. Adult studios definitely exist and they're good to forgive you for being a little (or a lot) rusty. It's a great time and if you're a former dancer, I'd recommend it!

2MR41H said...

Every once in a while I remember these books and wonder if I can find them somewhere - I must've read them each over a dozen times, always taking them out from the library.

Brianna said...

I definitely remember these books. I was obsessed and poured over all three. What a lovely reminder of childhood. I wonder what ever happened to my copies? I wish someone would publish some new versions, but they probably wouldn't be the same.

mkendall said...

I loved that Ballet book! I thought I was the only one! I still have my copy, but it doesn't have the cover.

Candice said...

I took one year of ballet lessons. I am a bit ashamed to admit I only agreed to go to ballet class because my mother took me and my twin to Dairy Queen on the way home. I do love watching ballet though!

Patou said...

Yes, I remember it well. I
studied dance for a long time.
One my most enjoyable experiences
was teaching Adult Ballet.

Yes-- it's out there!

Anonymous said...

My mom bought a Very Young Dancer for me before I was born, and it made me a NYCB fan from the time I was 3 years old.

xl pharmacy said...

pour little dancer, why some people sink their children in these activities?

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