A powerful story about being black in the ballet world.
Ballet is the most important thing in Stephanie's life. Her good-girl reputation, her humiliation about her father's job--everything disappears for those brief, amazing moments when she is in flight. But the reailty of dance is tough, and Stephanie's parents fear that she doesn't realize the most painful obstacle of all: how few opportunities there are for black ballerinas. Then the remarkable Miss Winnie and her talented nephew, Vance, show up in ballet class one day. And as Miss Winnie focuses her attention on Vance and Stephanie's success, Stephanie begins to discover a very different kind of love . . . and a different understanding of what's important.
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Lorri Hewett, a graduate of Emory University, completed the manuscripts for nine novels while she was still in high school. Her published works include Dancer, Soulfire, and Lives of Our Own. She lives in Decatur, Georgia.From Kirkus Reviews:
An intriguing, unusual romance and a coming-of-age story with more depth than many ballet stories. After years of lessons, Stephanie is sure that she wants to be a ballet dancer, and is willing to do just about anything to reach her goal, even defying her parents' wish that she drop dance and concentrate on getting into college. Stephanie understands how tough it is to gain entrance to a dance company; she is heartbreakingly realistic about her prospects as an African- American dancer in ballet's notoriously white ranks. Her horizons broaden, however, when Miss Winnie visits the class; an elegant, theatrically dressed former dancer, she wants to pair Stephanie with her own talented nephew, the handsome but full-of-attitude Vance. Stephanie's parents resent Miss Winnie's growing influence on their daughter, and Stephanie's increasing determination to work for her goals and not theirs. Hewett (Lives of Our Own, 1998, etc.) works into an already complicated plot issues of economics (Stephanie is a scholarship student at the school where her father is a janitor) and race, but these are not as intriguing as Stephanie's burgeoning romance with moody, enigmatic Vance and her eventual respect for his ideas about the best use for his talent. In the end, everyone in the cast has proven more flexible and understanding than readers will have predicted, and Hewett makes sound arguments on behalf of art, and for following one's heart. (Fiction. 12-14) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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