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Books: Ballet books for Adults & Almost Adults?

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Hello everybody ,

I am a great ballet fan, and love reading ; I've read most of the ballet books written for children, and some biographies (Margot Fonteyn, Noureev, Béjart, martha graham, deborah bull) ;

I wanted to know if someone could suggest novels about ballet

Thank you :)

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  • minty


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Minty, I'm going to move your question to the Books forum -- you might want to browse through some of those threads, as I think topic this has come up before and you might find some suggestions in past posts. (And that's not to say that this can't be discussed again.)

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I guess there aren't too many fictional ballet books for adults :grinning:

However, I read three very good childrens books that were written by a British author when I was a child.


They were by the author Jean Richardson:

The first step

Dancer in the wings

One foot on the ground


these three all are about the same girl, and we follow her from childhood to a young adult.


I simply loved these books! They tell ballet not from the most glamourous side and it seems to be quite authentic. (At least they were authentic enough for me as a 16 when I re-read them the last time ;) )


We are not too spoiled with ballet fiction here. (Unlike when I was in France and saw that every other book shelf in the bookstores had fiction ballet books for children)

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Thank you Suzanne, I have read those three books by Richardson, and loved them ! I don't know about Sweden, but I think ii's in England that the "book situation" is better ; I live in Paris and I don't find a lot of books about ballet ...

However, I do have a list of french children's books if anyone's interested :lol:

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I picked up a novel this summer that I still haven't read: ""The Four Temperaments," by Yona Zeldis McDonough. She's a former SAB student, and the title refers to the Balanchine ballet of that name. It sounds kind of melodramatic, about a young New York City Ballet dancer and a violinist who falls in love with her, but I thought it might have some interesting behind-the-scenes stuff given the author's background.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest wiccabex

i know of one childrens series in the uk that i quite enjoyed


the series is titled

satin slippers


written by Elizabeth Bernard


Theres 11 or so books following one girl from joining SFBA right through

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The Unmaking of a Dancer- I got my copy from the library and have already lent it out to two of my friends but it is due back...don't remember the author though...

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest EnPointeForLife

There are a few ballet novels for adults. For example, I read one called Ballet Stories. It was a collection of short stories either written by dancers, choreographers, or just novelists who had some basic knowledge of ballet. It was great, but I actually never finished it. I borrowed it from one of my teachers who had a daughter in ballet. She left our school early, so I had to return it. I've forgotten the author's name, but I want to find it again.

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A BalletAlertnik, Syr, gave me a copy a couple years ago of A Company of Swansby Eva Ibbotson.. It's a delightful ballet novel - a romance too - set in pre-WW1 in Europe and South America. Not great literature but certainly very entertaining.

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I have always loved A Candle For Saint Jude by Rumer Godden. It's a wonderful story about a small, but somewhat prestigious school and company.

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Oh Swiss_Chard, I have always adored 'Ballet Shoes'! I just love Noel Streatfield, she has written some really lovely books, some about ballet some not. Ballet Shoes is about the lives of 3 girls. All of them are adopted and live together with their guardian Sylvia. They were each found and adopted by Great-Uncle-Mathew, a kindly explorer who has a great passion for fossil collecting. While he is away, the family has great problems making ends meet. The story focuses on the development of the 3 girls, all of whom lear at the 'Childrens Academy' and study ballet, amongst other things.


A charming story, I never tire of it! If you enjoy that one, try The Painted Garden, by the same author. It is about another family later on, but not only is it also another lovely story but also follows the sisters from Ballet Shoes.

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Guest thumpinhippo

I recently re-read Ballet Shoes :grinning: . After I finished some people told me there was another one out called Movie Shoes. Is that possibly the sequel that you are referring to? :(

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I love A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson....I know I've recommended it before, but I'll do it again!


Rumer Godden did several books with ballet settings.....


Pippa Passes

Thursday's Children

Listen to the Nightingale

Candle for St. Jude


There are a number of others, but these are favourites....

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