“Dear Little Dancer, Follow Your Dream and enjoy every moment! Love Ballerina” Dear Ballerina, Monica Wellington
I am excited to review this book, Dear Ballerina on it’s release date! I am a big fan of Monica’s books and have reviewed many on my blog including Crepes for Suzette, Colors for Zena and My Leaf Book. Monica’s books come from the heart, which is why I love them! Dear Ballerina is heartfelt story of a ballerina behind the scenes during practice, the costume room and the wings of the stage.
This book is written about a young girl who writes to her favorite ballerina and then gets to dance with her! Monica wrote this book for her daughter, Lydia Wellington who is a professional ballerina. It’s a beautiful and heartfelt story that any girl who wants to be a ballerina will enjoy!
Monica and I have worked together to create a Pointe Shoes Giveaway! This lucky person will receive Lydie’s pointe shoes! These shoes have been worn during rehearsals and performances. This winner will also receive a signed copy of Dear Ballerina. These pointe shoes are made by the British Company, Freed of London and are custom made to the specifications of each dancer and always made the same shoemaker. The shoes are also stamped with a symbol on the sole of the shoe. Congratulations Amasie06!
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Interview with Author, Monica Wellington
What I love about this book is the author’s connection to the material. Reading the book, Dear Ballerina will inspire any young child who wants to be a ballerina one day! It will also inspire young children to write a letter to someone they admire.
Tell me about the inspiration behind your book Dear Ballerina.
Dear Ballerina was inspired by my daughter who is a ballet dancer with New York City Ballet. We love ballet in my family: my grandmother brought my mother to the ballet, my mother brought me, and I first brought my daughter when she was three years old. We all love attending performances but my daughter was the first who wanted to start dancing herself. When she was young, attending ballet school and performing in the Nutcracker, she wrote letters to ballerinas she admired, and now as a company member, she loves to receive letters from young dancers. Those letters gave me the idea for this book.
Can you tell me about your daughter and how her career developed as a professional ballerina?
When Lydia was very little she took some movement classes and then when she was seven, she auditioned for the School of American Ballet, the school affiliated with New York City Ballet. Her first teachers were two very old Russian ladies, aged 89 and 92! They were very strict and class was not as fun as she thought it was going to be but nonetheless she wanted to continue – I think she was in awe of the older dancers she saw in the other studios wearing their pointe shoes and doing amazing and beautiful things. And she loved having the opportunities to dance on stage in the Nutcracker and other ballets at Lincoln Center with NYCB. When she was a teenager she started to think she wanted to dance professionally. In her final year at SAB she auditioned for ballet companies in Europe and was offered jobs but she held out for her number one choice, NYCB. And she got it! This is now her 11th year in the company! She is lucky to be a very versatile dancer, strong and healthy, who rarely has aches or pains, and she loves dancing in a huge range of ballets by Balanchine, Robbins, and contemporary choreographers.
What advice would you give parents of children who want to pursue a career as a dancer?
I think it is so important to always hold close that you dance because it makes you happy and gives you joy. I think parents can encourage their children to stay confident and disciplined in their goals and to rise above pressures to compare themselves to others, competition, self-doubt or criticism. As the ballerina writes back to the little dancer at the end of the book: Follow your dream and enjoy every moment!
What would you like children to learn from your book?
I hope Dear Ballerina will inspire young children to pursue their dreams, whether it is dance or other activities they love. And like the young girl in the book, I hope they will write some of their own letters to people they admire and look up to, and I hope they will receive a letter back!