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Sydelle Gomberg Dance Library
Ballet has a rich history, beginning in France in the fifteenth century and evolving into the intricate art form that you see performed today by companies such as Boston Ballet. Because ballet was born in Europe, many ballet terms are French or have European origins. Boston Ballet has compiled some helpful resources to better educate on the world of ballet.
The word "ballet" comes from the Italian word "Ballare," meaning "to dance." Ballet first developed during the 15th century as a form of entertainment for Italian royalty. Male dancers first ruled the stage, and it took a Mademoiselle de Lafontaine dancing in Le Triomphe de l'Amour to lead the way for female dancers.
Formal ballet training began in the 1661, when the French king Louis XIV established the Royal Academy of Dance. Official ballet vocabulary and terminology is rooted in the French language, and many original steps and positions that were taught at the Royal Academy of Dance remain the same today.
From ballet's beginnings during the Italian Renaissance, it evolved and spread to France, Russia, and beyond, developing its own stylistic character. During the 1920s, Russian-born George Balanchine brought the art of ballet to America, establishing the School of American Ballet. It was in 1963 that Balanchine helped E. Virginia Williams establish New England's first professional repertory ballet company, Boston Ballet.
Ballet has become increasingly stylized and challenging over time, evolving into the intricate and highly choreographed art form that is known today.
ADAGIO or ADAGE: From the musical term adagio, which means "slow" or "at ease". Adage exercises are done both as part of "barre work" and "centre work" and consist of slow, sustained movements. They are meant to build strength and balance, as much of the exercise consists of standing on one leg while extending the other leg high into the air. They also give the dancer time to develop fluidity in "ports de bras" and supple movements of the upper body.
ALLEGRO: Also a musical term meaning "merry" or "quick and lively." Allegro work in ballet is often qualified as "petit" or "grand." "Petite" or "little" refers to quick, small jumps and fast footwork, whereas "grand" or "big" describes larger jumps and expansive moves.
ARABESQUE: A position of the body balancing on one leg while the other leg is extended (usually) to the back. The complementary arm positions vary according to the different schools of technique.
ATTITUDE: A position of the body, related to the arabesque, where the extended leg is bent at the knee.
BARRE: A long wooden pole, affixed to the wall horizontally, at about waist height. Traditionally, the beginning of ballet class is done at the barre and this portion of class is called "barre work." Young pupils learn each new ballet movement facing the barre and holding onto it with two hands. For most of the "barre work" dancers stand sideways to the barre and maintain their balance by lightly holding on with one hand.
BATTEMENT TENDU: A movement in which the dancer stands on one leg, either stretched or bent, and slides the other foot along the floor (with a stretched leg) until the foot is fully articulated and the toes pointed. This movement can be taken to the front, side, or back of the dancer's body.
BATTEMENT TENDU JETE: Similar to the battement tendu except that it is usually done more quickly, with a sharp quality, so that the toe is taken off the floor and the legs make a 25- or 45-degree angle to each other.
BATTEMENT TENDU DEGAGE: A quicker and smaller version of the battement tendu jeté, where the toe of the gesture leg just clears the floor by one or two inches.
CORPS DE BALLET: The group of dancers in a ballet company that specializes in ensemble work. In traditional ballets like Swan Lake the corps de ballet dances in large group formations, often moving and turning in intricate lines and patterns. It is the difficult task of the corps de ballet to move with a sense of unison: striving for harmony in line and timing.
DEVELOPE: A dévelopé is done by drawing the toe of the gesture leg (which bends at the knee and hip) up the front, side, or back of the supporting leg, until it reaches knee height. It is then "unfolded" to its full extension, either to the front side or back of the dancer's body.
EPAULEMENT: Literally means "shouldering." This term refers to poses when the dancer stands at a slight angle to (rather than directly facing) the audience. These poses show off the dancers' lines to the best advantage and add dimensionality to choreography.
GRAND BATTEMENT: Begins like the battement tendu and battement jeté, but the working leg is thrown high into the air so that at its highest point it makes more than a 90-degree angle to the supporting leg.
LEOTARD: A one piece, fitted garment, made of a light stretch fabric that fits like a second skin to cover a dancer's torso. Leotards are worn for class and rehearsal so that the teacher may see the workings of the students' muscles and joints.
PAS: Means step or dance, as in PAS DE CHAT, which means "step of the cat," or PAS DE DEUX, which means "dance for two."
PIROUETTE: Literally means "whirligig," which is an old fashioned name for a child's top. Pirouette is now used to describe the many kinds of turns that dancers do either on demi-point (on the ball of the foot) or on full point for the women (on the tips of the toes with the support of pointe shoes).
PLIE: Most movements in ballet technique begin and end with a plié, which is a bend and stretch of the hip, knee, and ankle joints. Demi- and grand-pliés are done as an exercise at the beginning of the barre work and are done as half-bends and full-bends of the knee.
PORT DE BRAS: Literally means carriage of the arms. It refers to the set positions of the arms as well as the manner in which the arms are moved from position to position.
TURNOUT: The characteristic that most distinguishes ballet from other forms of dance. It refers to the outward rotation of the legs in the hip socket, so that if one were to look at the feet in first position (heel to heel), they would appear to make a straight line.
* Available at the Boston Public Library
Non-fiction picture books
* Ancona, George. Dancing Is. New York: E.P. Dutton Publishing Co., 1991. This book explores dance in many different cultures and the relationship of dance to other kinds of movement.
* Barbosa, Steven. I Feel Like Dancing. Photography by Carolyn George d'Amboise. New York: Crown Publishers, 1992. Every year, with the help of the National Dance Institute, 700 New York City Public School students perform a full-length dance production. This book follows the process from the auditions in the fall to the performance in the spring.
* Brighton, Catherine. Nijinsky: Scenes from the Childhood of a Great Dancer. New York: Doubleday, 1989. This book tells the story of the famous ballet dancer's impoverished childhood in Imperial Russia, his invitation to join the Imperial Ballet school, and his debut performance in front of the Czar.
* Cosi, Lilliana. The Young Ballet Dancer. New York: Stein and Day, 1997. This book contains photographs and explanations of the five ballet positions, turns, and jumps.
* Davis, Jesse. Classics of The Royal Ballet. New York: Coward, McCann, and Geoghegan, Inc., 1978. A photo essay of The Royal Ballet performing some of the most famous ballets in its repertory: The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, La Fille mal gardée, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, and Sleeping Beauty. The photographs are accompanied by the plot of each tale, as well as historical facts about the ballets and information on the dancers.
* Duvall, Jill D. Meet Rory Hohenstein: A Professional Dancer. Photographs by Lili Duvall. New York: Children's Press, 1997. This book explores the life of a teenage boy, Rory, who is training to become a professional dancer.
* Hlibok, Bruce. Silent Dancer. Photographs by Liz Glasgow. New York: Jullian Messler Publisher, 1981. This is the story of Nancy, a deaf fourth grade student, and her ballet classes at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York.
Glover, Savion & Bruce Weber. Savion! My Life in Tap. Morrow, William & Co., 2000. This photoessay examines the life of Savion Glover, a young tap dancer who speaks with his feet and choreographed the Tony award-winning Broadway show "Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk".
* Gregory, Cynthia. Cynthia Gregory Dances Swan Lake. Photographs by Martha Swope. New York: Simon and Shuster Books for Young Readers, 1990. Famous ballet dancer Cynthia Gregory takes the reader through rehearsals and a performance of Swan Lake.
* Grau, Andree. Dance. Photographs by Sussanah Price. Eyewitness Books, 1998. This book explores dance around the world.
* Isadora, Rachel. Isadora Dances. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998. This book tells the story of Agela Dora (Isadora) Duncan, a breakthrough artist in modern dance. The story is told with quotes from Isadora Duncan's autobiography, My Life, and lush illustrations. The book outlines Isadora Duncan's life and introduces its reader to modern dance.
* Jessel, Camilla. Life at The Royal Ballet School. New York: Methuen, 1955. This book outlines what it is like to be a student at one of the world's most famous pre-professional ballet schools.
* Jones, Bill T. Dance. Photographs by Susan Kuklin. [Publication info??] 1998. Well-known African-American dancer Bill T. Jones shares his fun and funky movement style through photographs and text.
* Krementz, Jill. A Very Young Dancer. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1977. In this book we meet ten-year-old Stephanie, a student at the School of American Ballet in New York. She speaks frankly about her rehearsals, auditions, and her experience performing in The Nutcracker.
* Kuklin, Susan. Going to My Ballet Class. New York: Bradbury Press, 1989. This photo journalistic book follows seven-year-old Jami through her ballet class.
* Martin, John Harding. A Day in the Life of a Ballet Dancer. [City?] Troll, 1985. Heather, a professional dancer with the New York City Ballet, leads the reader through a day in her life including ballet class, rehearsals, fittings, warm up, and performance.
* Pinkey, Andrea Davis. Alvin Ailey. Illustrated by Brian Pickney. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 1995. This biography of Alvin Ailey focuses on his childhood years in rural Texas. It includes his dance training in Los Angeles and his move to New York City, where he founded the Alvin Ailey Dance Company.
* Schomp, Virginia. If You Were a Ballet Dancer. Photographs by Marshall Cavendish. Publication info? 1997. This book provides an introduction to a career in ballet. It outlines a professional dancer's day, and briefly discusses several different ballet styles, costumes, and ballet terminology.
* Simon, Charnon. Evelyn Cisneros: Prima Ballerina. Chicago: Children's Press, 1990. This book tells the story of the childhood and training of Evelyn Cisneros, a prominent Hispanic ballerina.
* Sorine, Stephanie Riva. At Every Turn It's Ballet. Photographs by Daniel S. Sorine. New York: Random House, 1979. This book talks about the relationship between ballet movement and movements used in everyday life.
* Sorine, Stephanie Riva. Our Ballet Class. Photographs by Daniel S. Sorine. New York: Random House Inc., 1981. Cordelia guides the reader through her ballet class. The book describes ballet exercises and rehearsal.
Spatt, Leslie E. Behind the Scenes at the Ballet: Rehearsing and Performing Sleeping Beauty. [Publication info??], 1997. This photoessay detailing the behind-the-scenes production of a ballet includes sections on rehearsals, costumes, lighting, the orchestra, and scenery.
* Thomas, Annabelle. Ballet and Dance. London: Usborne Publishing, 1992. A guide to the history, style, and basics of different forms of dance including jazz, modern, ballet, and tap. This book also introduces students to the various people involved in creating and staging a dance performance.
* Tobias, Tobi. Maria Tallchief, New York: Thomas Y. Cromwell Company, 1970. A photo biography of famous Native-American ballerina Maria Tallchief.
Varriale, Jim and Eliot Feld. Kids Dance: The Students of Ballet Tech. [publication info?] 1999. A photojournalistic book about America's only "public" ballet school. Each year 30,000 students from public schools all over New York City audition for admission to Ballet Tech. One thousand receive free ballet training. This book includes quotes and insight on dancing from Ballet Tech students.
*Zeck, Gerry. I Love to Dance: a True Story About Tony Jones. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, Inc., 1982. Tony Jones is a ten-year-old dancer at the Minnesota Dance Theater in Minneapolis. Tony talks about his classes, auditions, performances, his aspirations, and how he handles teasing.
Non-fiction – Chapter Books
* Butler, Joan. Ballet for Boys and Girls. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Inc. 1979. This book discusses ballet techniques, dancers, ballet companies, costumes, and the stories of famous ballets.
* Bussell, Darcy. The Young Dancer. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Inc., 1994. This book contains information on elements of ballet such as stretching, strengthening, barre work, make up, and ballet shoes.
Edom, Helen and Nicola Katrak. Starting Ballet. London: Usborne, 1992. This book teaches students beginning positions of the arms and legs as well as stretching, pointing, and jumping techniques.
* Haskins, James. Black Dance in America, a History Through Its People. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Junior Books, 1990. A detailed book about African-American dance culture, including some of the greatest dancers and dance companies. Covers dance forms from the ritual slave dances to break dancing.
* Maze/O'Neil, Grace. I Want to Be a Dancer. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1997. This book contains facts and descriptions on a wide variety of dance forms including modern, jazz, tap, ballet, ballroom, and folk.
* Werner, Vivian. Ballet: How it All Began. New York: Athenaeum, 1982. This book follows the history of ballet from its beginnings in 15th-century France and Italy to the present day.
Fiction - Picture Books
* Auch, Mary Jane. Hen Lake. New York: Holiday House, Inc., 1995. When a conceited peacock named Percival arrives at the farm, everyone quickly tires of his bragging. Poulette decides to put Percival in his place by challenging him to a dancing contest.
Auch, Mary Jane. Peeping Beauty. New York: Holiday House, Inc., 1993. Poulette the hen discovers that she loves to dance. Through hard work and perseverance she strives to become a ballerina.
* Berger, Gilda. Magic Slippers: Stories from the Ballet. New York: Doubleday, 1990. This book contains retellings of the stories from famous ballets such as La Sylphide, Giselle, and Petrouchka.
Bottner, Barbara. Dumb Old Casey is a Fat Tree. San Francisco: Harper and Row Publishers, 1979. Casey dreams of starring in her ballet class recital. Instead she ends up with a minor part as a tree. In the end, Casey learns that there is a reward for hard work.
* Cleaver, Elizabeth. Petrouchka. New York: Athenaeum, 1980. This retelling of the ballet Petrouchka includes notes on how the ballet was created and information about the story's history and characters.
* Diamond, Donna. Swan Lake. New York: Holiday House, 1980. This book retells the story of the ballet Swan Lake. The introduction includes a brief history of the story.
* Edwards, Pamela Duncan. Honk! Illustrated by Henry Cole. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 1998. Mimi the swan loves to dance and to attend ballet performances. When she sees Swan Lake, Mimi decides her turn to dance onstage has come.
Elliot, Donald. Frogs and the Ballet. Illustrated by Clinton Arrowwood. Ipswich, MA: Gambit, 1979. A humorous book outlining the basic ballet positions with pencil-drawn frogs.
* Eversole, Roby Harbert. The Magic House. Paintings by Peter Palagonia. New York: Orchard Books, 1992. This story about two sisters highlights the importance of imagination in dance.
* Fonteyn, Margot. Coppelia. Illustrated by Leo Coppelia. Delibes, 1998. This book contains a retelling of the famous ballet about a doll maker and his attempt to bring his creations to life.
* Fonteyn, Margot. Swan Lake. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, Jovanouch, 1989. A retelling of the famous ballet about a wicked sorcerer, an enchanted swan, a prince, and the power of true love.
* Gauch, Patricia Lee. Bravo, Tanya. Illustrated by Stomi Khikawa. New York: Philomel Books, 1992. Tanya must discover a way to learn in ballet class while dancing to her own beat.
* Gauch, Patricia Lee. Tanya and the Magic Wardrobe. Illustrated by Stomi Khikawa. New York: Philomel Books, 1997. When Tanya goes to a ballet performance with her mom and sister, she meets a woman who works in the costume shop. Through the costumes, Tanya learns the story of the ballet Coppelia.
* Gauch, Patricia Lee. Tanya and Emily in a Dance for Two. Illustrated by Stomi Khikawa. New York: Philomel Books, 1994. When Tanya, the smallest and wiggliest member of her ballet class, meets a talented newcomer, they both learn something important about dancing and friendship.
* Geras, Adel. Little Swan. Random House, 1999. Seven-year-old Louisa is delighted when she is asked to play the role of the Little Swan in Swan Lake.
Gray, Libba Moore. My Momma Had a Dancing Heart. Illustrated by Paul Colon. New York: Orchard Books, 1995. An adult ballerina is inspired by the dances she and her mother created when she was a young girl.
* Hautzic, Deborah. The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet. Illustrated by Diane Goode. New York: Random House, Inc., 1983. This book tells the story of the classic ballet The Nutcracker with colorful pictures.
* Horosko, Marian. Sleeping Beauty: the Ballet Story. Illustrated by Todd Dong. Antheneum, 1994. This book contains a scene-by-scene description of the plot of Sleeping Beauty.
* Isadora, Rachel. Lily at Ballet. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1993. This book outlines the structure of a ballet class.
* Isadora, Rachel. Lily Backstage. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1997. This book takes the reader backstage at a ballet production.
* Isadora, Rachel. Max, New York,: MacMillian Publishing Co., 1978. Max loves to play baseball. One day while walking his sister to dancing class, he learns a new way to warm up for his Saturday afternoon games.
* Isadora, Rachel. My Ballet Class. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1980. A young dancer describes a day in her ballet class. This book includes illustrations of basic ballet movements and an introduction to ballet terminology.
* Lee, Sandra. Silent Lotus. A young girl who can not speak learns to communicate through classical Indian dance.
* Marshall, James. Swine Lake. Illustrated by Maurice Sendak, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999. A wolf in search of dinner attends a pig production of "Swine Lake". He becomes so engrossed in the ballet that he forgets he is hungry. His new-found enthusiasm for ballet leads to some surprising outcomes.
* Medearis, Angela. Dancing with the Indians. Illustrated by Samuel Bird. Holiday House, 1991. This book tells the story of an African-American family's visit to a Sioux Pow Wow.
McKissack, Patricia. C. Mirandy and Brother Wind. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkey. Knoff, 1988. Mirandy is desperate is catch the wind and win the junior cakewalk dance competition. In the process she learns some valuable lessons about dancing and friendship.
McMullan, Kate. Nutcracker Noel, Illustrated by Jim McMullan. HarperCollins Publishers, 1993. Noel uses her imagination, creativity, and sense of humor to turn a small part in The Nutcracker into her own starring role.
* Pulver, Robin. Alicia's Tutu. Paintings by Mark Graham, New York: Dial Books, 1997. Alicia is positive she needs a shiny tutu in order to dance. She learns that dancing comes from inside,and that what you wear isn't as important as who you are.
* Rosenberg, Jane. Dance Me a Story. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc., 1985. This book retells the stories from 12 classic ballets including Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, and Coppelia.
* Shortt, Tim. The Babe Ruth Ballet School. [publication info?] 1996. This humorous book chronicles the adventures of the baseball legend and his friend, nine-year-old Izzy. When Izzy decides to retire from baseball to concentrate on her dancing, ballet and Yankee Stadium collide.
Tadjo, Veronique. Lord of the Dance: An African Retelling. Harper Collins Children's Books, 1989. This collection of creatively illustrated poems uses dance to tell the story of the mask celebration of the Senufo people.
* Vladimir, Vagin. The Nutcracker Ballet. Scholastic, 1995. A retelling of the classic ballet The Nutcracker.
Verde, Violette. Of Swans, Sugarplums, and Satin Slippers: Ballet Stories for Children. Illustrated by Marcia Brown. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1991. This book retells the stories of several classic ballets including The Firebird, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Sleeping Beauty. Each story begins with information about the story's origins and the creators of the ballet version.
Wallace, Ian. Chin Chang and the Dragon's Dance. New York: Athenaeum, 1984. Chin Chang fears he is too clumsy to perform the dragon's dance with his grandfather for the New Year's celebration. Chin finds a special friend to practice with, and together they learn that dance is possible if you have the spirit.
FICTION - Chapter Books
(* = Available at the Boston Public Library)
* Asher, Sandy. Just Like Jenny. New York: Delacourt Press, 1982. Stephanie struggles with ballet steps that come easily to her talented friend Jenny. Gradually competition and jealousy begin to break apart their friendship. In the end each girl must decide for herself what she values.
* Bottner, Barbara. Bootsie Barker Ballerina. An I Can Read Book, 1998. When bully Bootsie Barker decides to enroll in ballet class, it is up to Bernie and Lisa to outwit Bootsie and save the class.
* Carter, Abby. Baseball Ballerina. Illustrations by Kathryn Crisaldi. Random House Step Into Reading, 1992. A young girl who loves baseball is afraid her friends will find out that she also takes ballet lessons.
* Charbonnet, Gabrielle. Tutu Much Ballet. Illustrated by Abby Carter. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1997. Charlotte is excited to begin gymnastics lessons with her friends. Charlotte's mom has other plans and signs Charlotte up for ballet.
* Cohen, Miriam. Born to Dance Samba. Illustrated by Gioia Fiammenghi, New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1984. Maria Antonia lives and dreams Samba in a small village in Brazil. Maria is sure this is the year that she will be Queen of the Samba at Carnival. When a new rival arrives in town Maria finds her dream threatened.
* Crayder, Dorothy. The Joker and the Swan. Drawings by Elise Primavera. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1981. Zoe is an 11-year-old aspiring dancer. After her dance teacher takes her and her rival Tavia to visit the famous dancer, Anna Pavlova, Tavia is touched with magic and Zoe is failing in class. Zoe finds herself consumed by jealously and must find out how to over come it.
* Giff, Patricia Reilly. Dance with Rosie. New York: Penguin Books Inc., 1996. When eight-year-old Rosie misses the sign up deadline for ballet class, she looks through an alley window and learns to dance with the class.
* Giff, Patricia Reilly. A Glass Slipper for Rosie. New York: Penguin Books Inc., 1997. Rosie plans a ballet for her class as a surprise for her Grandpa. When her Grandpa has to leave on a trip, Rosie must learn how to deal with disappointment.
* Giff, Patricia Reilly. Rosie's Nutcracker Dreams. New York: Penguin Books Inc., 1996. Rosie is kicked out of ballet when she hits her rival, Stephanie, for getting the part Rosie wanted. Rosie learns that it takes more than good dancing to be a star.
* Giff, Patricia Reilly. Not-So Perfect Rosie. New York: Penguin Books, 1997. When Rosie's cousin comes to visit, Rosie learns that you can't always be perfect.
* Giff, Patricia Reilly. Starring Rosie. New York: Penguin Books Inc., 1997. Rosie's ballet class is performing the ballet, Sleeping Beauty, and needs to find a prince. In charge of the props and the prince, Rosie finds herself starring in a way she hadn't quite expected.
* Giff, Patricia Reilly. Rosie's Big City Ballet. New York: Penguin Books Inc., 1998. An artistic director comes to Lynnfield to observe Rosie's class and choose one student for her adult ballet. Rosie has her heart set on the part, but doesn't realize that she may get an even better opportunity.
* Godden, Rumer. Listen to the Nightingale. New York: Penguin Books Ltd., 1992. Lottie, a promising dancer, has been accepted to the prestigious Queen's Chase School. Ballet is her first love, and then she meets Prince. Prince is a lovable dog who teaches Lottie a lesson about balancing her life.
* Landis, James David. The Sisters Impossible. New York: Knopf, 1979. When Lily begins to study ballet her haughty older sister is horrified to have a tag-along. Gradually the sisters learn to get along.
Leggat, Bonnie-Alise. Punt, Pass and Point. 1992. When Amy, the star of the football team, breaks her arm, her parents insist she give up football and take up ballet instead.
McLauren, Clememnce. Dance for the Land. 1999. When Kate's family moves back to Hawaii so that her father can fight for natives' rights, she is resentful. Her classmates and family tease and ignore her. To top it off she misses her ballet classes. When Kate has the chance to learn the hula she rediscovers her love of dance and begins to understand the importance of her roots.
* Robinson, Nancy. Ballet Magic. Illustrated by Karen Loccisano. Chicago: Albert Whitman and Co., 1981. Stacey is struggling with the effects of a growth spurt in ballet class. Through her classes and a performance of The Nutcracker, Stacey learns that attitude is the most important element of dance, and to be tall can also mean to be graceful.
Simon, Marcia L. A Special Gift. New York: Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich, date?. Peter loves to dance and play basketball. Afraid that his teammates will tease him, Peter keeps his ballet classes a secret. When he wins a role in The Nutcracker, Peter realizes he will have to come to terms with his double life.
* Streatfeild, Noel. Ballet Shoes. Illustrated by Diane Goode. New York: Random House Inc., 1937. Three young orphans study ballet with the help of a wealthy benefactor. Through their experiences, they learn about themselves and decide if dancing is right for them.
* Swift, Carolyn. The Little Swans Fly East. Illustrated by Carol Betera, Guernsy Ireland: The Guernsey Press Ltd., 1995. Bernie and six other dancers set out from their homes in Ireland to train in a Russian Ballet School.
* Tamar, Erika. Alphabet City. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1996. Marisol, a girl from Puerto Rico, is living a dream when she wins a scholarship to dancing school. Everything changes when violence breaks out in her neighborhood. Marisol is faced with some hard decisions when her family is threatened.
Wolff, Ferida. Pink Slippers, Bar Mitzvah Blues. 1995. Now that her Bat Mitzvah is over, a young dancer can concentrate on what she loves best,ballet. However, when a friend becomes seriously ill, the young dancer must make some tough decisions.
* Yep, Laurence. Amah. [publication info??] Amy begins to feel like the wicked stepsister she is playing in her ballet studio's production of Cinderella when her widowed mother takes a job as a nanny. This book explores intergenerational and intercultural conflict in a Chinese-American family.
* Yep, Laurence. Ribbons. New York: GP Putnam's Sons, 1992. Robin loves ballet more than anything but never has a chance to express it since no one will listen. Her family is concentrating on bringing her grandmother from China to America. Robin resents her cold grandmother until she gets to know her and learns that she has more in common with her grandma than she thinks.