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To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,604 ratings  ·  306 reviews
Dancers are young when they first dream of dance. Siena was six -- and her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance class in Boston, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet.

To Dance tells and shows the fullness of her dreams and her rhapsodic life they led to. Part
...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (first published September 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,946)
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Malbadeen
Book Review:
I loved the illustrations. Loved the color, Loved the ribbons that ran through it. Loved it! The writing...mmm, it was a bit disjointed and clunky but over all it worked.

A bunch of other ramblings...
When I was a kid we were poor. Not Frank McCourt poor, not we might have to eat the dog poor. but still, poor.

poor like, no insurance poor, and going to McDonalds was a MAJOR TREAT poor, wearing socks for gloves in the winter poor, and babysiting the siblings at the berry field that my mo
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Klaudia Maniakowska
“To Dance” has a very appealing cover, which already reveals its genre (a graphic novel), as well as its central preoccupation (a memoir of a ballerina). All the illustrations have a form of comics: on some pages there is a sequence of panels of images, but on some other pages the illustrations are depicted outside any frame and encompass the whole page. I was touched by the fact that the illustrations, which are very dreamy and colorful, are twined with quite realistic and dark ones. I apprecia ...more
Carolinee
To Dance is a graphic novel which is a biography of an adolescent ballerina- Siena Cherson Siegel. The cover of the book indicates that the main protagonist dreams about becoming a dancer. The reader may follow Sienna in her struggle to become a professional ballerina. We may learn from the story what is hard work and sacrifice. The graphics perfectly convey the mood of the characters and their emotions. There is just one weakness of the novel which is connected with the arrangement of the illus ...more
(NS) Lauren
Grade/Interest Level: 3-6

Dancers are young when they first dream of dance. Siena was six -- and her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance class in Boston, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet.
To Dance tells and shows the fullness of her dreams and her rhapsodic life they led to. Part family history, part backstage drama, here is an original, firsthand book about a young dancer's begi
...more
Amanda
Summary: To Dance is a graphic novel about a young girl that loves to dance. She dreams of being a dancer and this book takes you through her journey. The book is not only a graphic novel in which the main character is a girl, but it is also the memoir. The young girl has flat feet as a child and gets inspired to take dance because of a Russian ballerina as well as her mother’s idea to take lessons. She began lessons in Boston and then back in Puerto Rico where she was from. Once accepted to a b ...more
Katy
To Dance, is a memoir by Siena Cherson Siegel with illustrations by her husband, Mark Siegel. The story is about her life from the time she was a little girl with a dream of dancing through her teen years. When Siena was six her doctor told her mother that she was “flat-footed,” and that she would never be able to dance. Her family moved around a lot, but her mother kept signing her up for dance classes. She worked so hard and was accepted into the School of American Ballet (SAB). She thrived i ...more
(NS) Brea M
A husband and wife team up to provide an insightful, accessible, and aesthetically engaging graphic novel that follows the latter's dance career. Well- proportioned watercolor panels trace Siena Cherson Siegel's involvement with ballet from her introduction to it at the age of six and her training as an adolescent at the School of American Ballet to her leaving professional dance when she reached college and her return to it several years later, "because I still need[ed:] to dance." The fully re ...more
Karen
Jun 18, 2010 Karen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ls560
To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel is a dance through its word choice and graphic artwork. Each chapter title can be found on a swirling ribbon that intertwines throughout the story. When specific ballets are chapter titles, the chapter title is presented with an image from that particular ballet.

In this novel, a young girl's passion for dance is felt immediately, and I had to pause to balance the meaning of the words with the action of the illustrations. By the time I was nearing the climax
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Jessie Doster
The book To Dance is a graphic novel about a young girl and her aspirations of becoming a dancer. The story begins with the six-year old dreaming of dancing while seeing a doctor about her flat fleet. The story is told from the main characters point of view as she takes readers on her journey of struggles and moments of triumph. Her family history and the backstage drama are captured to show the young girls character development into a beautiful young woman. Each page is filled with beautiful il ...more
Natalie
To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel, is a graphic novel follows the life of the main character Siena. Siena Cherson Sigel wrote the book about herself. Siena lives in Puerto Rico with her mom, dad and brother. She was told that she can never dance because of her flat fleet. For many, this would have discouraged, but not Siena a six year old girl at the time! The story uses colorful pictures which guide the story of the life of Siena through her ups and downs. When she gets older she goes to New Yor ...more
Tzipora
This is the perfect graphic novel for any girl (of any age!) who has ever wanted to be a ballerina!

Siena Cherson Siegel had the childhood every kid who was ever serious about ballet can only dream of. She auditions for and is accepted into the very prestigious School of American Ballet (SAB). This is the top school in the United States for young dancers and even more impressive is that Siegel was there during the last years of SAB's famous founder George Balanchine's life. This was also during
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Sarah Stewart
Sarah Stewart
Biography
In this biography, Siena Siegel tells her story about her dream to become a dancer in this graphic novel. Siegel dreamed of becoming a dancer since she was little and living in Puerto Rico. She dreamed of leaping and spinning on a stage. With a move to New York, Siegel was signed up for a dance class. Becoming more serious about her dream as she grew up, she went to the American School for Ballet. There, she performed many performances by George Ballanchine. However, upon t
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Liz
Nov 18, 2009 Liz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young girls ages 8+
This biographical graphic novel of a young girl aspiring to be a prima ballerina with The New York City Ballet is a story many young girls will relate to. Siena started dancing at 6 in San Juan, Puerto Rico later moving with her family to New York to study at the School of American Ballet. As she grows as a dancer the stage and dance studio become her refuge from her parent's fighting. At eighteen Siena stops dancing to give herself the opportunity to grow in other ways, even though dancing will ...more
Agnes U
I really enjoyed reading this book. I love the fact that the protagonist's passion for dancing never changes and it forever remains a part of her. I'm not going to give any spoilers for those who want to read it, but the story is lighthearted and actually very realistic, (despite the pink cover that I associate with sassy and girlish stories). Also, the art is remarkable, packed with details and novel (to me) techniques which add appeal to the story and the way of reading.
Randy
The simplicity of the story is refreshing. The drawings compliment the story quite well. the love of dance infuses every page, and one can't help but fall in love with dance as Siena relates her story.

I picked this book up while browsing through the shelves. Immediately, I thought of my daughters, both of whom, enjoy dance. Do they have the same love for dance that Siena describes?

I finished it because it was enjoyable and easy to read. I felt each struggle, and pain filled moment as well as t
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Jenny
OK. The illustrations are pretty cool. And full color. Yes, they convey emotion and movement, more so than other J graphic novels. And yes, she talks about how hard being a ballet dancer is, so as not to give prospective dancers false hope. But a Siebert Award? All I'm saying is, it was no Life and Death of Adolf Hitler. Or even Secrets of a Civil War Submarine. Was the committee just throwing graphic novels a bone? But girls will probably like it, and it's nice to see a postive, female centric, ...more
Katy Jane
1. I became interested in learning about ballet after reading Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews in the last couple weeks. Cathy made it come alive for me. And I remember learning and being interested in ballet terms from Babysitters Club books when I was kid. I never took dance classes when I was a kid and never had a dancers body, but it still interests me.
2. So I started with the most basic book I could find to help me learn.
3. I've learned about (from seeing it in this book and then researc
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Ewelina Łuszczek
One of my greatest passion is dance, so "To Dance: a bellerina's graphic novel" by Siena Cherson Siegel and Mark Siegel caught my interest right away. I was not disappointed, quite the opposite - I loved it! From the first pages, I felt the mental bond with the main character. After all, she loved to dance - just like me. She could not keep still and "big empty spaces always made her dance". The world of the girl from the picture book was revolving around the dance. If she did not dance, she was ...more
Fara Carson
Siegel, S. C., & Siegel, M. (2006). To dance: A ballerina's graphic novel. New York, NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Graphic Novel
ALA-Core collection of graphic novels - 2012
To Dance: A Memoir is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel that is geared towards girls. The illustrator does a great job with the lines for the dancers dancing and the colors are very close to what you would see at a dance academy. The story tells of a Puerto Rican girl, Siena, who has flat feet in the beginnin
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Kristin Carney
When I saw this book on the reading list, I knew I had to read it. I felt I could relate to it a lot because my passion is to dance. I really liked how this book started with a young dancer to show her dreams. Siena was a six year old dancer chasing her dreams big. I really liked the illustrations in this book because it kept it more alive. The color and the ribbons that ran through the book just made it more special to me I felt. It just made the story seem so real and passionate about dance. T ...more
Kelly O'toole
This graphic novel, with its text and pictures dancing together, tells the wonderful story of a young girl’s determination to become a ballerina. The book not only explains the world of dance, but through a story told over time reveals the preparation and dedication required of dance performers. It communicates both the wonder and rigor of a child who develops into a ballerina. In addition to the themes of dedication and dance, it deals with the theme of family sacrifice, as the level of commitm ...more
Kristin Carney
When I saw this book on the reading list, I knew I had to read it. I felt I could relate to it a lot because my passion is to dance. I really liked how this book started with a young dancer to show her dreams. Siena was a six year old dancer chasing her dreams big. I really liked the illustrations in this book because it kept it more alive. The color and the ribbons that ran through the book just made it more special to me I felt. It just made the story seem so real and passionate about dance. T ...more
Taylor Railey
I have been a dancer all my life so I really enjoyed reading this book. I could really connect with Siena and her dream of becoming a dancer. All of her hard work when she decided to become a professional ballerina after seeing a performance by Maya Plisetskaya was so real to me and I could really grasp a since of the emotion she had.

This graphic novel was very simple and I don't think it could have been written any better. The illustrations were great as well. They were very bright and they add
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Rebecca McNutt
To Dance isn't just a graphic novel about ballet dancing. It's a novel about growing up, about nostalgia for the past and how the world changed over the years (e.g. when Siena gets her Sony Walkman). It's a novel about friendship, family, and about following your dreams. Beautifully illustrated and well-written, my only complaint was that it was somewhat short. Nevertheless, To Dance is an excellent book.
Jaymie Christensen
To Dance is a graphic novel about a ballerina. The main character, Siena, was six when she first decided she wanted to be a ballerina – as many little girls do. However, her dreams didn’t stop there – the book takes you through her journey from her home in Puerto Rico to dance classes in Boston, and finally her debut performance on stage with the famous New York City Ballet.

This book is a graphic novel because the images are split up into small sections like a comic book, and the words that tel
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Judy Booe
Siena is a young girl in Puerto Rico who loves to dance. When Siena is nine, her family moves to Boston for a year and she has the opportunity to see the great Maya Plisetskaya perform Swan Lake with the Bolshoi Ballet. This fueled her passion and determination to become a ballerina. She took classes back in Puerto Rico and didn’t give up her dream. Her family supports her dreams by bringing her to New York to audition for the School of American Ballet when she is eleven. This story follows her ...more
Michaela
Genre: Informational/Biography/Graphic Novel for ages 9 - 13

Summary: A ballerina tells her story in this graphic novel. From her childhood in Puerto Rico to her school days in New York at the School of American Ballet. It's a story any girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina would love to read and dream of being a reality for her as well.

Curriculum Connection: A history connection with ballet and dance. cold be explored. Also, geography could be explored since many places are mentioned like, Sa
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Juliedrake05
APA Citation:
Siegel, S., & Siegel, M. (2006). To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Category: Graphic Novel

To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel is the story of young Siena and her journey through dance. Written and Illustrated by the real life husband and wife team of Siena Cherson Siegel and Mark Siegel, To Dance is a memoir of Siena Siegel's own experiences with dance. The reader can feel her love dance from the first page when she states "big
...more
Andrea
Feb 07, 2015 Andrea rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
I read this sitting on the floor of the children's section at the Book Lounge while my sister was picking out books for her kids. This has been on my radar for a while, so I'm glad I got a chance to read it.

The illustrations are very well done, and story as a whole is lovely - a young girl is told by her doctor that she has flat feet and will never dance. But her mother signs her up for ballet lessons anyway, and she works hard, eventually going to ballet school full time and taking part in a nu
...more
Alison
This is a memoir about a dancers experience with ballet. She starts at a young age, and her parents eventually move to New York for her to go to ABT, a prestigious dance school. It goes on to talk about different famous ballets and dancers. The young girl in this story loves ballet, and when she is young she goes to see ballets. Eventually she is chosen to perform in a ballet. Mr. B., her beloved teacher, helps her along the way. Siena's, the girl in the book, mother helps her with all of her ac ...more
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