A Young Dancer: The Life of an Ailey Student
by Valerie Gladstone, photographs by José Ivey
Published by Henry Holt and Co., 2009
Iman Bright is a thirteen-year-old student at the Ailey School in New York City who has allowed us a peek into her life. We learn about her ballet practice and her toe shoes the holy grail of beginning ballerinas. She talks about the other styles of dance that she learns including modern, jazz and West African. She shares how she handles the demanding dance schedule along with school and takes us through practices to performance. The photography is wonderful, putting us in each scene and showing the elegance and beauty of the performers. The author’s note contains a history of The Ailey School and Alvin Ailey as a pioneer of African American modern dance. Short segments of text make this an accessible book for early elementary readers, though upper elementary student will better appreciate the dedication of the dancer and the specifics of the dance techniques.
Nonfiction Monday is hosted today at Practically Paradise.
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