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Brought to you by a mother-daughter team.
Konora (we wanted to make something beautiful from coronavirus) climbed the pre-professional ballet ladder up to Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Professional Division. Along the way, she danced iconic roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy and Cinderella. She’s now a full-scholarship trainee at Ballet Idaho.
Konora’s mother taught creative movement and ballet for decades and was honored to be chosen and recognized by her local City Council for embodying the spirit of partnership and commitment to children in our community for her work with young dancers. She’s breathed dance from every angle: child to pre-professional to adult ballet student, zoom student, dance teacher, dance mom, competition mom, ballet-school parent-guilder, audience member, recital planner, business owner, and board member.
'Dancing Shapes-Ballet and Body Awareness for Young Dancers' was created by Once Upon a Dance, a group formed during the Covid-19 lockdown by Konora and her mother to encourage youngsters stuck at home to join ballerina Konora on a journey of movement and dance for exercise and meditation. All profits from the sale of this book help support beleaguered ballet companies hit by the pandemic. The book is divided into four parts. The first is about Konora, her early interest in ballet through to her present status as a Professional Division student in the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company and is accompanied by many wonderfully colourful action photos. The ballerina reveals here that lockdown has freed her imagination, allowing her to appreciate that dance can take place anywhere and everywhere, not just in a formal performance space but that warming up is vitally important wherever you choose to dance. We are next taken through the five basic ballet positions in the second section, then in the third, entitled 'Thinking about Details', the reader is encouraged to think about what each part of the body is doing from the head to the toes, whilst copying the many shapes shown in silhouette in the following pages. Konora encourages the use of mirrors or a camera so the shapes can be compared to those in the book because 'self-observation and feedback are valuable parts of practice'. The final part,'Saying Thanks', is not only about the obvious thanks due to all those who support those involved in the arts but also the importance of thanking our bodies, through diet, sleep and safe choices, if we expect it to work hard for us...and believe me, ballet dancing is very hard work! I enjoyed this book very much, having had a lifelong interest in dance. I found it informative, practical and inspiring. Hopefully it will help to keep the spark alive in all our future performers until the world returns to some kind of normality. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
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