Dance competition is fierce for four preteens and one little sister.
This series opener introduces four girls from New Jersey who belong to the Dance Divas studio and take part in individual and group contests. Scarlett has talent, divorced parents and a little sister who is whiny but acrobatic. Liberty has an over-the-top stage mother and is a snob. Rochelle hates toe shoes and loves hip-hop. Bria has a family of Chinese heritage that values educational excellence. The focus of the story is on costumes and routines that will give them an edge in the judges’ ratings. After coming in second at a competition, their drive to win accelerates, spurring intrigue. The coach and choreographer of that winning team used to dance in a ballet company with the Dance Divas’ coach, and they have not spoken in years, so the four girls use the Internet and a fake email account to uncover the cause of the feud. The little sister is sent into a studio to spy on the competition; they’ve brought in a ringer, an older girl. While not surprising, the tactics are certainly questionable. Berk’s writing is action-driven, stereotyped and predictable.
For those who dance to win—all others can skip the show. (Fiction. 8-12)