Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dreamer Ballerina” as Want to Read:
Dreamer Ballerina
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dreamer Ballerina

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  453 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Looking at her ratty-tatty, used-to-be-white, too-big high-tops, and then at her skinny chicken legs poking up from the ground, you'd never think that Casey Quinn could ever be a ballerina. But just because Casey can't do ballet in high-tops doesn't mean she can't dance. She has more grace in her pinkie toe than the local pinky-pink, richer girls put together. Casey has a ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 3rd 2011 by Chicken House
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 1,135)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
C P  Cabaniss
Apr 29, 2016 C P Cabaniss rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
DNF at page 81

I was buddy reading this with my sister and neithet of us could get into it. We finally just decided to put it down.

The novel is told in first person from the main character (I can't remember her name). I was confused as to how old she was supposed to be. Her dad supposedly died when she was 2 ten years before, but she's only a few months away from high school. It just didn't add up. She also read like a very young character, which I wasn't expecting. She read more like and 8-10 y
Sep 27, 2011 Jay rated it really liked it
This book starts off like other standard YA ballet works. A young girl, with no training, aspires to be a prima ballerina and must beat the snooty other dancer in her class who can afford lessons and the like. Casey, our narrator, is poor and loves to dance everywhere but can't afford to go to a ballet school. She believes she's ready to attend the American School of Ballet in NYC, and although she has never done her tendus and fondues and grand battements in a classroom, she has 'checked out ev ...more
Apr 14, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a great book. It took some time to get in to the book but it got there.

I do not recommend this book to people who like violence or hard core but to people who like dance, drama, hard work, and music. I personally do not like dance but really this is about determination and how to live out your dreams with the ups and downs.
Mar 20, 2016 Anusha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book really is very close to my heart.

I read it when I was 10-11 years old and it still has a place in my bookshelf at home. There are just some books you can't forget about your whole life, and for me, this is one of them.
This was literally the book that got me into reading. It is a beautiful story about a poor girl of a hand-to-mouth existence who just wants to dance but doesn't even know herself. In the hustling-bustling city of New York, she finds friendship, follows her dreams and fin
Feb 19, 2016 Aubree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful book!

I picked this book up because it was in the historical fiction section at my library (and the cover was pretty and that was a plus of course), and when I cracked it open, I couldn't put it down! Literally! I read this book straight through in five hours (But I'm a really fast reader)! I am NOT a dancer and when it comes to grace... I could trip on an ant. I still really felt an emotional connection to Casey Quinn, and because of the way the book was written, I felt like I c
Jan 23, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I thought this was going to be a little cheesy. Awwww, a poor girl wants to be a dancer? And yeah, okay, so maybe part of it was. But it wasn't instant gratification. It was about how dreams take a lot of work to accomplish, how sometimes disappointments will happen, but we need to work through them anyway, and how sometimes dreams change in ways you never expected.

It was about the amount of emotion we put into art--painting and dancing in this story--and how that emotion is what m
Aug 16, 2012 Dorian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was young, I used to want to be a ballerina. That idea was tossed out after about a month, but I'm still always amazed by ballerinas. When I read the synopsis on the cover, I got kind of excited to read this novel. It took me a little bit to become fully engrossed in the book, but I basically finished the entire book in one sitting.

Reasons to Read:

1.Casey's Determined Nature:

One of the main drives in the book is how much Casey is determined to become a dancer in New York. She is willing
Jade Walker
Jul 02, 2011 Jade Walker rated it really liked it
Original review at

This book is a children's book aimed at ages 9+, though totally suitable for kids younger than that. Because of this, the book is not very deep and emotional and is pretty much a happy, cute read. The book is also quite enjoyable for teen and adult readers as well, though I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for something deep.

I liked this book for the simplicity of it, the characters are simple, the narration is simple and the story is a
Mikayla Lynn
Mar 06, 2013 Mikayla Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Someday Dancer. I almost feel like I was meant to read this book. When I was looking for a book, I picked up one and right next to it was this book! Mrs. Rose said that this book is new to the library. No wonder I haven't read it yet! It's like it was made for me. It is historical fiction and about dancing.

The main character (Casey) really wants to become a dancer but her family can't afford to put her in dance. Her dad died in World War II, so they don't have money for things like bal
The book reminded me of those ballerina books that you read when you're seven. The plot was similar - a girl want's to become a dancer but can't due to whatever. In this case, her family was poor and couldn't pay for her lessons.

There is also an antagonist who is, well, very antagonist-y. In real life, good and bad is not so separate. But they were too black-and-white in the book. And then at the end the antagonist becomes good. Because it has to have a happy ending, however impossible.

The main
Nadine Peterman
This book it amazing! I'm a dancer so this ties to me and something I would like to do in the future. It's about a girl who wants to dance in NYC, which I would like to do in my future and this book it super interesting about her trying to accomplish her dreams.
Harshita Nair
May 25, 2015 Harshita Nair rated it it was amazing
An inspiring book.

Casey, the main character, is determined to achieve her dream despite people making fun of her. The book has many funny moments to rejoice, but it's motivational book for those who pursue a dream.

Recommend for all young girls!
Marisa Gunter
May 31, 2016 Marisa Gunter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Someday Dancer is one of my favorite stories. Even if you are not a dancer, Rubin sets up the main character, Casey, in a way so that she is relatable to all girls in some way or another. Although Casey's struggle may be the fact that she is hampered from pursuing her dream of being a ballerina, she faces other struggles as well that all girls face. I liked the way Rubin made Casey a take charge character who knew what she wanted and what she was after, I think this sets a good example for other ...more
Sarah Fehrnstrom
There aren't many books I could say have "changed me as a person," or influenced me in any way. But when I find that perfect book that not only can I relate to, but actually imagine, I know that it's one of a kind. When Sarah Rubin was writing "Someday Dancer," she focused on passing on the message that no matter where you come from or how far fetched your dreams are, there can always be a way to make your dreams a reality if you put in the hard work to do so. While reading this incredible book, ...more
Stephanie Solorzano
In the book someday dancer the girl Casey Quinn is a girl with big dreams. She lives in a small town but hopes to be a ballerina. Her parents can’t afford for the ballet classes. But will do anything she can do to get to where she wants to go no matter what. I didn’t like when her mom doesn’t necessarily help her follow her dreams. And because of this Casey is scared to tell her things about her dancing. Also when the group of girls keep bullying her. Bullying is wrong to do, is hurts people a l ...more
Merrilyn Tucker
Aug 17, 2015 Merrilyn Tucker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rubin pens historical fiction that focuses on the 1950s, the era when Martha Graham is just exiting the dancing world. (Her unique and stunning creativity will remain, but Graham herself had to give in as principal dancer, finally, to age.) The story begins with Casey, a high school student, who lives with her mother and grandmother (father was killed in the Korean War) in small-town Georgia. Her family is dirt poor, but Casey dreams of being a dancer. At school, a new girl, "Priss" Ann-Lee, als ...more
Jun 18, 2015 Maxima rated it really liked it
This book was very nice, and it had me hooked from page 1(something unusual.) I liked how Casey is very determined, and how she never gave up, even though she got very dicouraged at one point. The plot of this story was really clìche, a poor girl with no money who dreams of dancing in New York, with the antogonist a rich, snobby girl who thinks Casey's dream will never come true.
The story eventually turned out to be a lot more entertaining than expected, and the book was a little sad a some po
Natalya ~*Kittendonut!*~ Schuyler - Semi-Hiatus

2.5 stars

This book had a lot of promise. It's an original plotline and romance-free, with some issues I sympathize with. However, due to its development, I find 2.5 stars the highest I could rate this. First of all, Casey's character is a determined spirit who isn't shy or submissive. On the other hand, she lacks a whole lot in the humility category. When Ann-Lee makes fun of her, Casey always tells the girl she calls "the Priss" that she's better than her, an action Ann-Lee reciprocates. Casey

V. Gingerich
Jul 30, 2014 V. Gingerich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, children
A lovely story that left me feeling good about people in general, and courageous poor girls in particular.

There's a lot to like in this book. Casey makes for a fun and lovable main character (plus, there's a whole cast of colorful secondaries), and her dreams of being a great dancer never falter, in spite all the obstacles in her way. I love the setting, too: all the way from small town USA to a New York City boarding school, with a vintage feel to both. Lastly, the themes are the sort that give
Kate G.
Sep 17, 2013 Kate G. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was a wonderful novel. I finished this book in one day because I couldn't put it down! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dance or just likes good descripted books!
Nov 10, 2012 Isabelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really inspiring story all about shooting for the stars and chasing your dreams. I really like the descriptions of how dancing felt for her!
Nov 10, 2014 Isabelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The remarkable story of Casey Quinn, natural dancer, is heart warming and reminds you of how setting your mind to a dream results in amazing achievements. Throughout the story, Sarah Rubin does a great job of developing the characters. Also, the figurative language keeps it interesting. One of the reasons I gave this book a fives stars was because something was always happening. If a character failed at something, they immediately bounced back. Also, it was kept real. There are quite a few event ...more
Cliche. I gave up before Casey met Martha Graham, so maybe I missed out on the better half.
May 16, 2014 Smorrow98 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone that Loves Ballet
Shelves: current
Someday Dancer by Sarah Rubin was the best book I have ever read. It really inspired me, but also made me sob. Casey had a dream and raced after in but in the middle their are a few obstacles. This book made me cry because someone so close died in her family. She was going to give up dance because it gave her to much pain, but her teacher made her. This book appeals to me because I love dance, ballet, and I have a dream to do it as a career on day, too.

My two favorite characters were Gran and
Casey wants nothing more than to dance. It's 1959 in South Carolina, and her family is poor—far too poor to afford lessons for Casey. That's not going to stop Casey, though; she can practice on her own, and when she has the chance to audition in New York City...well, she'll do what it takes to get there.

Casey's an interesting one. I absolutely love the way she sees the world:

I dance my way home from school. Fast and hard on angry days, my feet biting the sidewalk like mad dog. Long and slow when
Nov 28, 2014 Kenzie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dreamers, and those who enjoy a distinct writing style.
Recommended to Kenzie by: The bookshelf in my English teacher's classroom.
Someday Dancer was the type of book I've been wanting to write because I hadn't found and read it yet. (Sure mine probably wouldn't have been about dancing, but it was the general feel of the book I was searching for.) Needless to say I was very well pleased with this book.
The main protagonist was very likeable from the start because she was easy to sympathize with. The supporting characters were well written as well and filled the other perspectives and attitudes needed to complete the feel a
Casey is a natural dancer. Every second of the day, she's tapping some kind of beat and moving her body to the music. No one but her grandmother believes in her, however. Her mom wants her to come down to earth and pursue a realistic path. The other girls make fun of her love of dance. It is her dream to make it into a big ballet school and show everyone what she knows she can do. When she arrives in New York, her dreams change. She'll still be a dancer but in a contemporary dance school.

Harini Srinivasan
Nice, cute, but a bit monotonous. It's not that there aren't highs and lows in the story, but somehow the voice never manages to communicate the associated emotion. And this makes it very forgettable. I finished the book last night, but it takes some racking of the old brain to remember the name of the heroine. Oh yes, Casey Quinn. Chip-on-her-shoulder, but good kid, courageous and generous.

Strangely, though, for a light and frivolous read (both the title and the shiny cover position it as one),
Jessica Harrison
Full review at Cracking the Cover

“Someday Dancer” can be split into two parts — Casey’s time in South Carolina and her time in New York — and both parts essential to making this great book whole. It’s clear author Sarah Rubin has a love of dance. It practically jumps through Casey and off the page.

It’s also clear that Sarah did her research.

Those who aren’t familiar with modern dance often think it’s all the same. But like ballet, which has a number of different methods, so, too, does modern dan
Eighth grader Casey Quinn lives to dance and dreams of leaving her small South Carolina town behind her as she pursues her ambition to become a dancer. Because her family has little money, she takes a cleaning job at the hospital and earns money for a bus trip to New York to audition for the ballet. Although she doesn't make it to the second round, her dancing skills are noticed, and she is sent off to the Martha Graham studio to which she earns a scholarship. Learning how to dance in the big ci ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 37 38 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You
  • Various Positions
  • Pirouette
  • The Magic Ballet Shoes (Magic Ballerina, #1)
  • Margot Fonteyn
  • Ellie's Chance to Dance (Royal Ballet School Diaries, #1)
  • Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal
  • Marie, Dancing
  • Rose Sees Red
  • Style Me Vintage: Clothes: A Guide to Sourcing and Creating Retro Looks
  • Tutu Much (Dance, #1)
  • Dancing Through Fire (Portraits, #1)
  • Dancing at the Chance
  • White Swan, Black Swan
  • Cadillac Chronicles
  • Chain of Hearts
  • Ballerina
  • The Jewel and the Key

Share This Book

“But dreams don't just come true, not really. They come true, and then they get bigger.” 2 likes
“If Gran says, 'Reach for the stars--that way, if you miss, you'll land on the moon,' then Mama says, 'If you spend all your time reaching for the stars, don't come crying to me when you walk right into a tree.” 1 likes
More quotes…