Dancing Shapes is a 2021 Independent Press Award Winner
an inside gorgeous glimpse into ballerina Konora’s journey
Konora leads readers through the five ballet positions, pliés, and relevés
Designed for ages 6-8, preschoolers will enjoy in sections if they are energized by challenge
explore concepts such as flexed or pointed; curved, bent, or straight, weight; turned out and parallel
a whole section on saying thanks and a focus on the value of practice
Dancing Shapes is a unique book for young dancers. Deriving directly from the pandemic time, Dancing Shapes captures both resilient hope and the power of imagination. Konora shares her path, from training as a young student, through performing professionally. It's a path that is familiar to some and interesting to many. Konora also shares how anyone, anywhere, can use the transformative power of their imaginations as professional dancers do, which is an important, inclusive message- everyone can explore movement creatively and imaginatively. Some basic ballet positions are described and shown in pictures, with visual and mental imagery to help young dancers understand the qualitative feelings of the positions. My favorite part of the book is the last section, "Thinking About Details", as it encourages individual thought and expression. Emphasizing how body parts can be used to find different shapes (ie. the many shapes the fingers and hands can create), this book can stimulate new movement patterns that extend beyond those that are habitual in everyday life, or even in early ballet training.
(Anonymous on Amazon)
My dancing children (6, 9, 11) all loved this book! It is appealing to a wide range of ages, though probably best suited to the 6-9 range. We loved reading about Konora growing up as a dancer and were inspired by her performances, beautiful costumes, and dancing in unique locations - now we want to do that too! The photography is crisp and beautiful and makes it easy to copy the shapes, though the shapes themselves are not all easy! My 6yr old didn't make it through the whole book in one sitting when I read it aloud, but keeps returning to it on her own to try out the dancing shapes, so I would say it's good for non-readers too. My 9 and 11yr olds like the warm-ups and reviewing the ballet positions before trying out a variety of shapes. This is a great book to inspire creativity and practice basic technique at home. I can also see this as a helpful tool for dance teachers to get ideas flowing among a larger group of dancers.
(Erica on Amazon)
Full Review at link:
...Easily the most compelling component of this book is its visuals, beginning on the cover and dominating each page. Full color photographs of Konora in costume inspire children to dream of being a professional ballerina. Myriad photographs also feature Konora backlit to focus on her body position instead of what she is wearing. Dynamic body shapes can be challenging to replicate, but the presentation is accessible to children regardless of their abilities.
Young dancers will love having this reference at hand even once dance classes open again. Especially because this book teaches routines and practices to keep moving bodies safe, it is an important addition to a young ballet dancer’s home library.
(Mary Lanni on Reedsy)
This book is a great resource for young dance enthusiasts looking to get started practicing dance, or those with general knowledge looking for more guidance and inspiration. Packed with details, the book is divided into manageable sections, with lots of pictures for those that prefer to learn visually. For young children, the book can be read by an adult who can help them turn the prompts and ideas into fun activities. For independent readers, the vocabulary is accessible yet reflects a tone that respects the reader's interest and abilities. As it says in the book, "dance is for everyone." I purchased this book as a gift and I'm so happy I did.
(KatPack on Amazon)
My daughter loves this book. She especially liked reading about Konora and seeing the beautiful pictures of her. Great quality book all around. My daughter followed along and tried those poses. This is great activity for our movement time during lock down.
(Lada... on Amazon)
There are several sections to the book: a brief story of the ballerina Konora, the shapes, and the intro of ballet terms and positions. The variety appeals to different skill levels and anyone who enjoys dance will appreciate the beautiful photos. I am looking forward to more of Konora's journey in the next installment.
(snow plum on Amazon)
The lovely photographs and clear, engaging instructions invite young readers to try different dance poses. They increase their spatial awareness and ballet knowledge in a way that is accessible to varying physical abilities. Ideal for dipping in and out of or reading straight through.
(Thisbe on Amazon)
"With constant support and innovative descriptions that will spark imaginations, Konora invites readers to share the joy of dancing. A superb tool for young dancers, full of accessible poses to mimic."
Such a fun book! Very accessible style for budding dancers. Great photos!
(Elizabeth on Amazon)
I intend to buy this one as a gift but decide to keep one for myself. I enjoy the pictures and clear instructions in this book. I am not sure when I am going to see a live show again. While I am waiting, I might just try those ballet movements at home. Like the author has said. " dance is for everyone!" It's a great exercise regardless of your age.
(Elizabeth on Amazon)
Beautiful pictures and a fun, inspiring overview for young dancers (and delightful for not-so-young adult dancers & fans, too!).
(Courtney on Amazon)
My daughter loved it and wanted to act out every single pose. The photography is beautiful!
(Kathryn... on Amazon)
Take a Peek at some of the Dancing Shapes Pages