We Want Kids to Embody Joy, Breath, And Imagination

Once Upon A Dance Author Interview

Andi’s Valentine Tree follows a child that wants nothing more than to dance, they befriend a tree that helps teach their classmates about kindness. What was the inspiration for your story?

The stories in this series (Andi’s Valentine Tree is book 13) are all developed around kids’ favorite stories when I taught children’s dance classes. The kids lit up when it was story time and asked for the same stories over and over again. It was funny because I’d work so hard to create something original for them and they’d be like, “Please, can you tell the [last-week’s] story.” Witnessing their joy in creating movement while using their imagination and being the star of their own show is my inspiration for the series.

I love that your series teaches dance along with the story. How do you approach this process, do you decide on the moves first, or do you write the story outline and fill in the dance moves after?

So far, the writing process has always initiated with some curriculum aspect from my dance classes, In the case of Andi’s Valentine Tree, the tree wanting someone to dance was one way we reviewed ballet vocabulary. So I started there and built the plot up around that idea.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

For each of our stories, we want kids to embody joy, breath, and imagination as well as dance and movement. We appreciate kind characters that can be positive role models. Each book encourages kids to use the stories in a way that works for them, their bodies, and their space. Of course, in this story, the importance of bystanders showing support in difficult situations, celebrating individuality, and the value of forgiveness are themes I was happy to incorporate.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Danika’s Dancing Day was just released. There are a few Dance-It-Out! stories with illustrators that should be out by summer. We are wrapping up the debut in a new series for kids 8+, which will hopefully be out in March.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Andi loves ballet and friends at the studio, but school is a different story. A squirrel named Lou and a remarkable tree provide much-needed comfort. Then something magical makes life even better. A touching story celebrating the beauty of nature, embracing one’s own passions, and forgiveness.
Ballerina Konora joins the pages with dance photos and suggestions for movement exploration. Three books in one: readers can enjoy the story, act out the tale in their own way, or try Konora’s suggested activities, designed by an award-winning ballet teacher to develop body awareness and movement knowledge. Each Dance-It-Out! story is a kids’ dance performance for the imagination stage. Andi’s Valentine Tree builds on previous Dance-It-Out! material and is ideal for ages 6+, dance students, or as a sequel to other stories.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 19, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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