Dancing on the Inside
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
read excerpt* *Different edition

Dancing on the Inside

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Ever since her grandparents gave her a DVD of Swan Lake, twelve-year-old Jenny Spark has wanted to be a ballet dancer. But on her first day of ballet class, she suffers a crippling panic attack. She's too terrified to practice in front of the other kids, and as for actually performing for an audience? Forget it.Yet Jenny refuses to give up her dream of making dance part of...more
Published January 29th 2013 by iUniverse Star (first published July 5th 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,075)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
SOS Aloha
I enjoyed this YA book even though I know nothing about ballet. But I do recall experiencing similar social isolation and internal desire as Jenny. In fact, Jenny and Ara were very real as they form an unlikely friendship to pursue their dreams. Strathy delivers an engaging story that rewards the reader with every page – Strathy’s prose is near perfect. The characters shine despite their imperfections, or perhaps because of them.

DANCING ON THE INSIDE would be an excellent guide for young women...more
Literary  Chanteuse
A lovely story of Jenny, a young girl who has a desire to learn ballet but struggles with her fear of being in the spotlight. She learns to embrace her inner talent and builds confidence while making new friendships along the way. She easily captures your heart. A must read for inspiring ballerinas!
Kelsey Paige
This is a great book about finding--and fighting to do--something you love, despite the obstacles. Jenny's crippling shyness would make a career like ballet seem out of the question, but she doesn't let it stop her, practicing in secret instead and, for the first time, acting against her parents' wishes. Her unlikely friendship with the bubbly, outgoing Ara works beautifully. I love how "friendship" in this book goes beyond two people with shared interests enjoying each other's company. Ara and...more
Bluerose's  Heart
"Social phobia: Excessive fear of embarrassment in social situations that is extremely intrusive and can have debilitating effects on personal and professional relationships.

The symptoms and signs of social phobia include blushing, sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, nausea or other stomach discomfort, lightheadedness, and other symptoms of anxiety".

I've suffered with social phobia my entire life, so when I discovered Dancing on the Inside was about a young girl with social p...more
Such a cute book. It was a very quick read and honestly I couldn't put it down. I relate a lot to Jenny. I was the shy one in junior high/high school. The one who wanted to be great at things, but was afraid to fail. The one who didn't realize the talent I had. I think this is a must read for any teen/pre-teen who is shy and has a dream. The ending of the story was so sweet and I think that ballet really needs to be produced :)
Inspired Kathy
Author Interview & Book Giveaway ends 10/18/11
Paula  Phillips
I've always loved Dancing movies and have been a huge fan of films like Centre Stage and Step Up , in a way this book reminded me of Centre Stage 2: Turn It Up as the main character Jenny ever since watching the DVD of Swan Lake has dreamed of becoming a famous dancer , though unfortunately for Jenny she suffers from stage fright- an awful thing when all you want to do in the world is perform in front of thousands of people. Though Jenny faces all these obstacles , she does not let that stop her...more
Wendy Hines
Dancing on the Inside is a great young adult read. Moving to a new town, Jenny doesn't know anyone. After watching Swan Lake on DVD over and over, Jenny convinces her parents to sign her up for ballet classes. But when Jenny arrives, she's shy and hides under the piano watching the other girls. She goes home and practices what she's watched privately.

Then Jenny strikes up a friendship with Ara, a girl loves to dance but always takes backseat to her sister. Jenny thinks Ara dances beautifully and...more
Dancing On The Inside is a Children's Book for ages 9 - 12.

Twelve year old Jenny Spark has wanted to be a ballerina since her grandparents gave her a DVD of "Swan Lake". However, Jenny is very shy and suffers from anxiety attacks whenever she is in a crowd.

Hiding under the piano on her first day of ballet lessons, she watches the rest of the kids practice. Rose comes up with a plan so that she doesn't have to participate but can watch and secretly teach herself the moves at home.

When her parents...more
Mandy's Review:

If I were a middle-school-aged child, I would have fallen in love with this book immediately. It has a sense of tragedy to it that ends in triumph and self-empowerment, which would inspire any little girl reading this story. Since I am an adult reading a middle-grade novel, my review is going to be somewhat different.

First of all, Jenny's paralyzing anxiety is a little much. Granted there are genetically-transferred anxieties passed from parents to children. However ... Jenny's an...more
I read this book all in one sitting. This is aimed at young to mid-teens so it was an easy read for me. The heroine of the story is Jenny, a very shy 12 year old who really wants to dance ballet but discovers that she's too shy, too insecure and has a panic attack at the idea of trying to learn to dance with anyone else watching. She loves ballet so much, however, that she connives a way to be allowed to observe the classes. She takes notes and practices alone at home in secret.

Ara is quite the...more
Seanne Casey
I thought that this book was fantastic, a great read that I flew through. I could relate to the characters in this book even though I have never been that shy. The reason I rated this 4 stars is because of the mother. Now I know that every novel has to have an antagonist, but did it have to be her mother? I understand that technically, the antagonist was her fear of dancing, but her mother was so against her throughout most of the book. She discouraged her, and I did not enjoy that part. I would...more
Lynda Coker
Young Adult Book by Glen C. Strathy

This story written for 'Tweens' is so good that it will transcend that age group. The story plot seems deceptively simple, but it unfurls with complexity. And Jenny is a character you can take into your heart. One that is vulnerable and shackled by her shyness, but who struggles to stay close to the thing she loves most...any way she can. Overcoming pride, guilt, and inadequacy, she moves painstakingly toward her goal. This is my first read by author Glen C. St...more
Wow what an amazing book ! I love anything to do with Ballet but this book went beyond that. I loved Jenny and could really relate to her but her friend Ara was the amazing one in this book too who supported her friend and helped her to overcome obstacles. Can't give to much info here or it will spoil it for others. All I can say is this is a book that most people should read !
It was a very nice storytelling for a quiet evening time. I did enjoy the details, and characters were more or less believable. Ballet world was always mesmerizing for me, so I loved the possibility to emerge myself into this interesting world again.
I really want to read this book ive heard it's awesome
Definitely a very strong story, Jenny's the type of girl I can (could) relate to, even if I was never quite as painfully shy. This book is unputdownable, whether you like and are interested in Ballet/Dancing or not.
Well, going into this I didn't realize that it was probably written for a junior high age girl. With that said, it was a good little read. I recommend it to anyone who wants to inspire their daughter.
Tracee Loran
Very cute & inspiring book. It's a good read for young girls or anyone who need a boost of confidence and the push to do something they've always wanted to do.
Kelsey taylor
Do u like dancing? if u do this book is perfect....if u dont well read it anyway
Amanda Macduffee
Great read for Tweens and adults alike. Strong message. Impressive flow.
Glen Strathy
Aug 24, 2011 Glen Strathy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Girls ages 9-12.
I wrote this book, so of course I like it. But I would love to know what you think.
Thomas marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2014
Michelle Loring
Michelle Loring marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2014
Zoe James-williams
Zoe James-williams marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2014
Leila marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2014
Sara marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2014
Madison marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2014
Shivaranjan Ns
Shivaranjan Ns marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
  • On Pointe
  • A Very Young Dancer
  • Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal
  • Leap
  • Marie, Dancing
  • The Melting Season
  • Once a Dancer: An Autobiography
  • Classical Ballet Technique
  • A Dance of Sisters
  • dancergirl (WiHi, #1)
  • Holding On to the Air: An Autobiography
  • Ballet for Drina (Drina, #1)
  • Audition
  • A Time for Dancing (A Time for Dancing, #1)
  • Dancing Through Fire (Portraits, #1)
  • Dancer
  • A Dream of Sadler's Wells (Sadler's Wells, #1)
  • The Ballet Companion: A Dancer's Guide to the Technique, Traditions, and Joys of Ballet
Glen C. Strathy started writing stories when he was 11 years old and too shy to have a life. He eventually found a life when he started acting in community theatre and met other writers, actors, dancers, and artists. He discovered that the best thing about performing arts (and other arts too) is that they give people more freedom to be who they want to be. After spending time as an actor, teacher,...more
More about Glen C. Strathy...
The Coming Economic Collapse: How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrel

Share This Book