Sassy makes her mark in this lovable story that proves when you aren’t afraid to be yourself and go after your dreams, they can come true! Dancing in the Wings is a wonderful picture book by actress, dancer, and writer Debbie Allen, with equally wonderful illustrations by Kadir Nelson.
Since she could walk, all sassy wanted to do was dance. Unfortunately, she has unusually long legs and large feet, and is constantly teased by her big brother, who calls her “Big Foot. “She also gets teased by her fellow ballet dancers who one day call her “Tyrannosaurus.”
Despite being the butt of jokes from others, Sassy pushes toward her dream of being a dancer – with the support of her mother and her Uncle Red who encourages Sassy to focus on how her differences can help her; such as her ability to jump higher and spin faster than anyone else in her ballet class.
Sassy takes Uncle Red’s advice when she hears that a famed ballet instructor is going to come to her ballet class to choose one dancer for a prestigious summer dance festival in Washington, DC. At first, Sassy is worried that she is too awkward and would never be chosen, but then she remembers Uncle Red’s advice, puts on her brightest leotard, and auditions for the spot in the dance festival – and is chosen to participate. Throughout the story, you are cheering for Sassy and the ending is so feel-good, you don’t want the story to end.
Dancing in the Wings is a great story with a great message: Don’t be afraid to be yourself AND when you’re confident and do your best, you can make your mark on the world. The book is a great story for a child who loves to dance but also for every child who has ever felt like they don’t fit in. Sassy’s story is also for any child who has dared to dream to make their mark on the world – whatever that dream may be.