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To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel: 03/16/13

cover art

To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel by Siena Cherson Siegel is another memoir told in the format of a graphic novel. As more and more nonfiction is finding voice in paneled artwork and lettering, there should be a term for them that doesn't imply fiction.

Siena Cherson Siegel when she as a young child had flat feet. Her mother was desperate to do anything to get them fixed. She turned to ballet as a way to perhaps exercise her daughter's feet into the right shape. Long story short, the dancing worked. It also became a life long passion for her.

Along with the ballet, To Dance, is about Siena's move from Cuba to New York. There she went to ballet school and eventually danced with the New York Ballet. All of that is laid out, while avoiding the oft-times unhealthy body image aspects of professional ballet.

I read this memoir originally when my daughter was taking ballet. At the tender age of six, she already started becoming aware of the extreme dieting that some dancers do to stay slim. She also didn't want to give up all of her other hobbies to focus solely on dancing to qualify for team competitions. So now as I write this review, she has given up ballet for two other sports: swimming and bowling.

Five stars

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