A teen with a ballet obsession learns to appreciate modern dance.
When she was 4, Meg’s parents took her to a performance of The Nutcracker, and her “ballet obsession” began. Now, after ninth grade, her summer class is canceled, so Meg’s parents send her to Camp Dance for two weeks. She has no interest in any other form of dance and does not make new friends easily, but her ballet instructor believes that, while her technique is excellent, her stage presence and ability to relate to the audience are lacking. She is decidedly uncomfortable with modern dance, jazz and hip-hop, has a bunk mate who is antagonistic and cannot text because cellphones are not permitted. Nio, a boy who likes to dance, befriends her and encourages her in spite of her obtuseness. She understands how to dance specific steps; interpretation stymies her. It is her interest in fashion—designer names are dropped frequently—and her gradual willingness to combine ballet and modern dance steps that save the day and the camp experience. The story, told in Meg’s voice, revolves around dance class, camp life and the obligatory student performance. The characters are more stereotyped than individualistic, and the finale proceeds with predictability.
A formulaic story that will appeal to dance fanatics. (Fiction. 11-14)