If you have a dancer or two in the house, find them something fun to read that will spark their interest, whether they love tap, ballet or ballroom.
Encourage little ones to get moving with some fun picture books, and choose something more in-depth for your older dancers. Here are some of our favourite kids' dance-themed books to start with.
How do you Dance? by Thyra Heder
An adorable picture book for toddlers, pre-schoolers and just-started-schoolers, which encourages everyone to shake and hop and wiggle and jiggle. Encouraging the joy of dancing, with no right or wrong, everyone who reads it will want to get up and get dancing!
The Tip-Tap Dancing Cat by Joanna Boyle
What does your cat get up to when you're not home? Oscar loves to dance - and he can do everything from tap and salsa to the foxtrot and freestyle! An adorable, energetic book to get little ones moving.
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
This lovely hardback book without words sees Flora try to practise the dance moves of the graceful Flamingo. The bird gets pretty irritated by the little girl, but eventually, they become friends.
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
The perfect book for reading aloud, thanks to its rhyming text and colourful full-page illustrations by Guy Parker Rees.
Alana Dancing Star: Viennese Waltz by Arlene Philips
Illustrator: Pixie Potts
If you're old enough, you'll remember that Arlene Philips was the choreographer for Hot Gossip, the dancers on Top of the Pops. For everyone else, maybe you'll know her as a judge on Strictly. Now she has turned to book writing, with this sweet book with lovely illustrations by Pixie Potts. There's also a cut-out doll to dress and a guide to dancing the waltz.
Dance Is For Everyone by Andrea Zuill
In this kids book, dance, ballet and a huge reptile all appear. What would you do if a large green alligator arrived at your ballet class? When Miss Iraina and the students realise they aren't going to get eaten, they let the creature stay...
Tap-Dance Fever by Pat Brisson and Nancy Cote
Young dancers who just can't stop moving will love this tale of Annabelle, who tap dances her way through the kitchen linoleum, the schoolhouse floor and even the road. When the local townsfolk try to stop her Tap Dance Fever they are in for a big surprise!
The Secret of the Tattered Shoes by Jackie Morris
This up-to-date reworking of a classic tale will appeal to parents and children alike. Jackie Morris retells the familiar fairytale of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Beautiful illustrations come courtesy of Ehsan Abdollahi.
I Will Dance by Nancy Bo Flood and Julianna Swaney
Eva has cerebral palsy, and dreams of dancing. She thinks no one could dance in a wheelchair until she discovers the Young Dance Company. The real-life inclusive company makes her realise that she can follow her dreams like everyone else. An uplifting book for children that champions diversity and inclusivity.
This Is It by Daria Peoples-Rile
The main character in this story loves to dance, but she is nervous about the theatre audition she is about to do. But then something amazing happens - her shadow comes to life and takes her all over the city, leaping and dancing along the way. And when she gets back to the theatre, the girl discovers she has a new-found confidence. A lovely story for children taking their first exams or performing in their first shows.
World Elite Dance Academy series by Kimberly Wyatt
Former Pussycat Dolls singer and dancer Kimberly will be familiar to fans of Sky 1's Got To Dance contest. Each book in the series focuses on a different dancer - from Fashionista Tilly who has never fitted in, to quirky headteacher's son, Andre, who is obsessed with street dance, but his dad is not interested.
The Only Boy in Ballet Class by Denise Gruska and Amy Wummer
Tucker loves to dance but no one else seems impressed with the fact that a boy has taken up ballet. Until one day the boy who does not enjoy sports has to play on the football team - and discovers that his ballet skills can be put to good use. Great for challenging gender stereotypes and opening up discussion at the right level for younger children.
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
Old-fashioned but one of the classic ballet books. Pauline, Petrova and Posy Fossil all lived with their eccentric uncle until he disappeared. Now the money has run out but the girls have a grand plan to make money by going on the stage... Published in 1936, children will still find it a good read.
Ballerina in Danger by Elaine Mayson
Only Isabella can see the Pink House and the people who live there. In this ballet adventure, she must rescue a ballerina and try to save a special cat. Helping her are Jean Paul and some of the Pink House characters. But will Hagatha the wicked witch destroy her plans?
Buy the book from Elaine Mayson's website HERE.
I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak
Cosmo is a dog who loves to dance. But when his family is being broken apart, will he be able to save them? A charming tale that unusually combines the joy of canine freestyle dance with the heartbreak of divorce.
No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton
This story of friendship tells the tale of Aya, a Syrian asylum seeker, who finds herself in a cold and wet Manchester. She has to look after her mum and brother - but she is also a talented ballet dancer. Can she follow her passion?
The Audition by Maddie Ziegler
Fans of Dance Moms will be excited to see the first of a trilogy of books by international dance star Maddie Ziegler, who started her career on the show. The story follows 12-year-old dancer Harper, who has to start all over again at a new dance studio when her family moves. Will she be accepted by the other dancers?
Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan
Meet the Ladybirds: Bea, Kat, Betty and Pearl were best friends but have drifted apart, and when a new teen talent show is announced it causes even more friction as not everyone will take part. Add in some complications with boyfriends and dance partners and the tension rises. Tweens and teens will relate to the friendship issues, but it's also got plenty of humour - along with energetic lindy hop and aerial moves.
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
A dream place at the New York Ballet Academy awaits talented dancer Vanessa Adler, as she hopes to follow in the footsteps of her big sister Margaret. But she has another reason for gaining admission - she wants to find out why Margaret has mysteriously vanished! Ballet and the paranormal combine in this thriller.
Hope in a Ballet Shoe/Ballerina Dreams by Michaela DePrince
The inspiring and heartbreaking tale of Michaela DePrince, who lost her parents and witnessed terrible atrocities in war-torn Sierra Leone, was adopted by an American couple, and fought to find her place as a black girl in the world of ballet. Today, she is an international ballet star. Ballerina Dreams is a young reader version of Michaela's story.
Ballet Boy by Claire Gruzelier
Jordan Howe is a lanky, black sixteen-year-old who lives on a council estate. He dreams of playing professional basketball but has just started training as a mechanic. But when he sees a male dancer at a project for disadvantaged young people, his life could be about to take a very different turn.
Dance Anatomy by Jacqui Greene Haas
A fascinating read for older teens who are serious about their dancing. Giving an insight into how the body works to achieve dance moves, using fantastic illustrations, it is a must-read for anyone who wants to get an in-depth understanding of the body's relationship with dance.
Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem
Marina is a privileged, gifted young dancer with Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet at the height of the Cold War. Her mother is a Soviet Artist of the People. But when she suddenly vanishes, Marina and her father have to leave Russia quickly. Defecting to New York, they hope to escape the Russian secret police but end up in a more tangled web of intrigue than the one they left behind. A compelling young adult thriller.
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