A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina's Dream

by Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper

A young Black girl growing up in Harlem in the 1950s has dreams of being a ballet... read more

A young Black girl growing up in Harlem in the 1950s has dreams of being a ballet dancer. Her mother has cleaned and sewn costumes at a ballet school since before she was born. When the ballet master sees the girl dancing backstage he arranges for her to join classes in the back of the room. “With every bend, I hope. With every plié, every turn, every grand jeté, I hope ... Could a colored girl like me ever become a prima ballerina?” She gets an answer, and inspiration, when her mother spends half of the money she’s saved to take the girl to the Metropolitan Opera House to see Janet Collins, America’s first Black prima ballerina. Kristy Dempsey’s inspiring story is lyrically told, and set against Floyd Cooper’s richly toned illustrations. (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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