Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Books: Ballet books for Adults & Almost Adults?

Recommended Posts

For the ones who are able to understand French, I would recommend Danse by Anne Delbée. It's a novel for adults but it can be read by teenagers. It's a really very inspiring book !

Link to post
  • 1 month later...
  • Replies 66
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • minty


  • vagansmom


  • stitcher


Guest dollface

White Swan Black Swan (Adult Fiction) is nice-- a collection of short stories. I really liked Dancing Away by Deborah Bull as much for the politics as for the dance, and Allegra Kent's Autobiography is one of the most entertaining of the lot. She has a good sense of humor and isn't the least stuck up, plus she writes about New York. There are also lots of silly/lousy dance books. I won't list them.


Also, Maria Tallchief wrote a rather interesting autobiography too. I really enjoyed it.

Edited by dollface
Link to post

Holding on to the Air by Suzanne Farrell and Toni Bentley and Winter Season by Toni Bentley. Both non-fiction for teen/adult. I would recommend for young dancers looking into the lives of real dancers. Some of the realities of the ballet world seem depressing, but enthralling as well. :D

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...
Guest PosyFossil

Here's a list of all the Noel Streatfeild books that involve ballet in some form or the other:


Ballet Shoes


Curtain Up (published as Theatre Shoes in the US) - involves the Fossil sisters from Ballet Shoes and also includes a new character, Miriam, who is a ballerina in training


The Painted Garden (published as Movie Shoes in the US) - also involves the Fossil sisters and includes another new character, Rachel, who is a ballerina in training


Wintle's Wonders (published as Dancing Shoes in the US and elsewhere in newer editions) - Does not involve the Fossil sisters; one of the two main characters, Hilary, is a talented ballet dancer


Ballet Shoes for Anna


The Gemma Series - In order -- Gemma, Gemma and Sisters, Gemma Alone, Goodbye Gemma - About a child actress who must go live with her country cousins when her career is thought to be washed up; one of the cousins, Lydia, is a ballet dancer


As many of Streatfeild's novels seem to be out of print in the US, one suggestion I would have for anyone searching for them is to look on Canadian websites such as Amazon.ca or Chapters.ca - many of the books are still in print here, and shipping costs to the US would be cheaper than ordering them from Amazon UK.


I have also enjoyed many of the other novels people have already suggested, such as the three Jean Richardson books and Veronica Tennant's On Stage, Please. A few other fun children's novels that involve ballet:


The Sisters Impossible by J.D. Landis - A story of two sisters, older sister Sandra, who is a ballet dancer and the "graceful swan" of the family, and her awkward younger sister who is forced to take ballet lessons and eventually comes to enjoy them


Hi There, Supermouse! by Jean Ure - Another story of two sisters with clashing personalities - younger sister Rose is pretty and talented at dance and acting, while slightly older Nicola is a tomboy. Nicola turns out to have potential as a ballerina and realizes that she can love dance and keep her tomboyish nature at the same time. The same author also has a novel called Star Turn that involves ballet, but I've never been able to find a copy.


The Bad News Ballet series by Jahnna N. Malcolm - A series from the late 80s or early 90s about a group of junior high misfits who are thrown together in an unlikely friendship when their mothers force them to take ballet... and they realize they actually like it. I believe this series has been republished twice - once in 2001 in North America, with the books repackaged and some given new titles, and once in the UK under the series title "Scrambled Legs".


The Sadler's Wells series by Lorna Hill - A charming series of 14 books that follow a series of dancers over the generations as they train to be ballerinas at the prestigious Sadler's Wells ballet school. Unfortunately, these books are now out of print and some of them are extremely difficult to find. They are, in order, A Dream of Sadler's Wells, Veronica at the Wells, Masquerade at the Wells, No Castanets at the Wells, Jane Leaves the Wells, Ella at the Wells, Return to the Wells, Rosanna Joins the Wells, Principal Role, Swan Feather, Dress Rehearsal, Backstage, Vicki in Venice, and The Secret. Lorna Hill also had another ballet series called the Dancing Peel series that included six books - Dancing Peel, Dancer's Luck, The Little Dancer, Dancer in the Wings, Dancer in Danger and Dancer on Holiday.


I'm sure I've read several other ballet books as a child, but they aren't coming to mind at the moment, so I'll post again if I remember any!

Edited by PosyFossil
Link to post

I read a great book called Dancer by Lorri Hewett. All dancers would enjoy it, since it depicts what it's really like to be a dance student. I'd recommend it!


Edited by xxjan3rz
Link to post

yes, Dancer is a good book ; I don't write often, but I always read this thread, with attention ; I now have all the books mentionned (and some others, but the titles don't always come to mind) I am currently reading 'Ballerina', and yes , jerlynf, it's a very interesting book, where the author uses real names ;

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everybody ;

I have followed this forum very closely, and have tried to get as many of the books as possible ; I have now compiled a list of all the books I've got , and which I can comment on (age question, ...) Here is the beginning (to be followed )

Asher Sandy : Just like Jenny


Bussell Darcey : Favorite Ballet Stories

Life in dance


Bull Deborah : Dancing away


Blanton Catherine : Hold fast to your dreams


Bernard Elizabeth : Satin Slippers (1 to 5)


Betancourt Jane : Kate's turn


Baron Nancy : Tuesday's child


Corbett Kate : First string future

Future perfect


Castor Harriet : Ballet stories



Costello Emily : Ballet School (1 to 6)


Collard Alexandra : Two young dancers : Their world of ballet


Cunxin Li : Mao's last dancer


Dean Karen Strickler : Maggie Adams, dancer

Between dances

Stay on your toes, Maggie Adams


Cammy takes a bow


Deans Sis : Everyday and all the time


Danilova : Choura , the memoir of Alexandra Danilova


Estoril Jean n: The Drina serie (10 books)

The ballet Family

The ballet family again


Edwards Leslie : In good company


Fonteyn Margot : Autobiography

A dancer's world


Farrar Suzanne Clement : Samantha on satge


Freymann-Weyr : The kings are already here


Godden Runner : A candle for St Jude

Pippa passes


more later ... :grinning:

Link to post

minty, this is quite a lovely list. Thank you for the contribution. Your work is very impressive. Perhaps you could inspire me to begin to catologue my library! I am sweating just at the thought! :grinning:

Link to post

a little more


hill Lorna : the wells serie (11 books)

The little dancer

Dancer's luck

dancing peel

dancer in the wings

the secret

dancer in danger


hewett lori : dancer


hampshire susan : lucy jane at the ballet


hest amy maybe next year


howell anthony : in the company of others


hughes barbara : both feet of the ground


hamilton janet : the short history of a prince


hurwin davida n: a time for dancing


jones mal lewis Ballet school serie (5 books)

dance club (6 books)


kirkland gelsey : dancing on my grave

Link to post

de mille agnes : dance to the piper


mccann colum : dancer


malcom Jahna m. Bad news ballet serie (or scrambled legs)


mazo joseph : dane is a contact sport


porter tracy : a dance of sisters


richardson jean : the first step

dancer in the wings

one foot on the ground

stage strcuk


rees elisabeth : heart beats serie


turner robyn : russian nights


tennant veronica : on stage please


tamar erika : alphabet city ballet

Link to post

ure jean : ballet and dance stories

you win some, you lose some

a proper little Nooryeff


vogt marie : jill and the nutcracker


Weyn suzanne : no way ballet serie


white Constance : the ballet school mystery


my list is finished I could publish another one of french books if anyone's interested

some of my series are no complete : heart beats , no way ballet for ex , so if anyone can help me .... :wink:

Link to post
  • 4 weeks later...
Guest alescna

i think someone has alreadi mentioned this one, by the Satin Slippers series by Elizabeth Bernard is the best! i really enjoyed when i was younger and a few months ago, i just re-read my entire collection of them (missing a few here and there!). Elizabeth Bernard was a dancer herself with the San Francisco Ballet, i think, and she gives girls who are starting out teh inspiration and insight into the ballet world... plus there's a glossary of ballet terms at the end of every book for non-ballet lovers... iw ould encourage everyone who could find this to give it a go!

Link to post

A book I enjoyed was calledA Young Dancer's Appenticeship It's a true story about a 14 year old girl, Olympia something, who was excepted into a Russian ballet company. It's pretty interesting and there are lots great color pictures. Its probably in the young adult category, but anyone could read it.



Link to post
Guest twinkletoad5000

Although I have not yet read it, I have herd Corpse de Ballet is a good book. It is a murder/suspence novel. I belive the auther is Ellen Pall. On amazon.com you can read the back cover and the synopsis.


This is deffinatly one I will be reading at my SI this summer!

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...