Dancers from Around the World

Shelter Harbor. (Gemstones). Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781627951609.
K-Gr 3–An all-female dance journey around the world sounds like such an inviting way to discuss global culture, but this book never goes beyond tropes. Alicia from Seville is but one of the Disney-esque array of beautiful idealized women who star in these pages. As the first star appears in the sky, “This is the time when we dance. We gypsies say that you need three people to perform flamenco: one who dances, one who sings, and one who plays an instrument...When my dance has captured the audience, I stop, ready to hear the thunderous applause and feel the fire that only flamenco provides.” Readers meet Sofia from Budapest, dancing the czardas, who mentions that “Guys snap their feet inward and outward, hitting the ground with their heels and toes, while we girls spin around like crazy, our wide skirts whirling like tops. Everyone claps to the rhythm that never slows down!” Ginger (a white girl with flowing red hair) is our girl from New York, breakdancing “here among these skyscrapers and crowded sidewalks, I feel like a real B-girl, a true breaker!” Ekua, dancing the nmane from Ghana, is the one Black dancer shown, Carmen from Buenos Aires and Miranda from Rio seem to represent all Latinx dancing; a white ballerina represents Russia, while Kimi does a Japanese fan dance and Kiani, in Hawaii, does the hula.
VERDICT The author summons the atmosphere in every city, turning the dancers’ first-person narrations into a flawed but effective global guide, if readers can look past the stereotypes.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing