Lila wants to become a professional belly dancer but learns that she might have chosen a more difficult road than she expected.
Lila, along with everyone who knows her, is sure she was born to dance. She thoroughly enjoys the belly-dancing classes she takes from Amala and has a wonderful time dancing with her friends as they prepare to perform in an upcoming festival. When Amala gives her a chance to join Dana’s studio instead, however, Lila leaps at the opportunity. Dana is a renowned professional, and many of her students go on to similar success. Dana works Lila so hard, however, that she becomes stressed. Although she knows she’s learning a great deal, she isn’t having fun. Plus, she misses her best friend, Angela, who still dances with Amala, and has trouble keeping up with her schoolwork. More stress comes when Lila learns that Dana will be cutting two dancers before their appearance at the festival. Lila realizes that she may have to choose between becoming a professional and dancing with her friends for fun. Jones writes this novella in a simple, highly readable style. The author’s descriptions of the dances are some of the most interesting segments of the story. If the characterizations come across as a bit flat by contrast, nevertheless young readers will be focusing on the choices that Lila faces.
Entertaining and insightful for young dancers. (Fiction. 12-18)