Celebrate National Book Month with these Books by PNB-ers
We’re sure you know by now that PNB Faculty and the whole PNB Community is multi-talented. But did you know there are multiple published authors in our midst? Keep reading to explore our list of books for all ages by members of the PNB Community.
Illusions of Camelot: A Memoir by PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal
Peter Boal’s recent memoir covers his early life growing up in Bedford, New York through the start of his career as a Company dancer at New York City Ballet. “Throughout Peter’s deeply personal work, you’ll step onto the floor during ballroom dancing lessons in Bedford, into the studios of the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center, and onto the stage in George Balanchine’sThe Nutcracker as Peter performs the title role of the Nutcracker Prince. Peter’s journey takes us to the start of a storied career as a dancer and leaves us with insights into the life of an artist shaped by environment, circumstance, and family.”
Miriam Landis trained at the School of American Ballet and was a member of the Miami City Ballet under Edward Villella. She also attended the Ballet West Conservatory, San Francisco Ballet School, and the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Ms. Landis earned a B.A. in English from Stanford University, and taught at many ballet schools and universities, including Stanford and the University of Utah. She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and joined the PNBS faculty in 2012.
Join Miriam Landis at Island Books On Sunday, October 22 at 4:00PM, Island Books will welcome ballet teacher and writer Miriam Landis at their store on Mercer Island! Miriam will be discussing her new middle-grade novel, Lauren in the Limelight, in conversation with Naomi Glass,PNB School’s DanceChance Manager. Lauren in the Limelight is, for fans of the classic novel Ballet Shoes, a coming-of-age dance story reimagined for a new generation.
“This is the book I wish I could have read as a young ballet student.” —Megan Fairchild, principal dancer with New York City Ballet and author of The Ballerina Mindset
“Lauren in the Limelight centers around three young adolescents captivated by ballet’s mysterious, magical lure, but this book is about so much more than dance. The characters’ relationship and fascination with ballet is a prism through which we—and they—begin to discover and understand the complexities of self-identity, autonomy, and morality and that adults have just as many internal conflicts as kids.” —Gavin Larsen, author of Being a Ballerina and former principal with Oregon Ballet Theatre
Interested in reading more from Miriam Landis? Check out Miriam’s other novels geared towards young adult readers, Girl in Motion and Breaking Pointe . Like Lauren in the Limelight, Miriam’s first two books give behind the scenes looks at the world of ballet from the perspectives of young dancers. For more about Miriam and her books, visit her website at MiriamLandis.com.
A Dancer’s Diary & Birds of a Feather by PNB Faculty member Dina McDermott
Dina McDermott was born and raised in New Jersey, where she received her earliest ballet training with Irine Fokine. She received her BFA from The Juilliard School, and subsequently danced professionally in New York for five years. After earning her MFA at Arizona State University, she went on to pursue a teaching career. Dina has taught at universities/colleges, community centers, public school/artist-in-residence, with at-risk youth, and at PNB School since 2001. In addition, Dina teaches Pilates in the PNB Conditioning Program.
A Dancer’s Diary: Around the World in Thirteen Dances(2017) is a combination of travel writings, performance reviews, and memoir. Ms. McDermott takes readers on her journeys through the art of dance, including classical ballet, contemporary/modern, kathak, flamenco, and many other unique styles. With stops in Bali, Spain and Cuba, and additional performances/choreographers from China, Israel and Germany, each chapter forms a vivid account of the author’s firsthand experiences; spanning performances and travels from 1983 to 2017.
Birds of a Feather: A Memoir (2022) is Ms. McDermott’s memoir and the story of her family. Touching on themes of immigration, (her mother was a child of Hungarian immigrants) assimilation and memory, it invites the reader to contemplate their own ancestry and lineage and how our pasts shape our present and future. Available to purchase in person at Third Place Books in Seattle, or at the Amusements Gift Shop inside McCaw Hall.
A Curious Tale of Magic, Mischief, and Music by PNB School Faculty Member Marjorie Thompson
Marjorie Thompson trained at the School of American Ballet and danced with New York City Ballet. She has served on the faculty of the School of American Ballet, Ballet Arts Minnesota, Eliot Feld Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. She first joined the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet School in 1996, where she was also Director of Therapy and Conditioning. She went on to serve three years as Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, then moved to Minneapolis where she was School Principal of Minnesota Dance Theatre. She returned to the PNBS faculty in the Summer of 2007.
“…such a charming story. My grandchildren were delighted by the stunning illustrations. The love between the sister and brother were refreshing and the whimsical nature of the magic is just perfect…” — Suki Schorer
Once Upon a Dance
If you’re a Seattle dance fan, you’ve probably crossed paths with the Once Upon a Dance mother-daughter team of Terrel, a dance teacher, and Kaelyn, a former PNB Professional Division student. Terrel and Kaelyn are active in the Seattle dance community, frequently attending local performances and classes.
The duo teamed up during Covid to create dance books for kids, and their catalog now boasts 24 books and counting including:
Dance-It-Out Creative Movement Stories (ages 4+) encourage kids to dance alongside story characters and Ballerina Konora (Kaelyn’s stage name).
Dancing Shapes: Ballet and Body Awareness for Young Dancers (ages 6+) is a “visually stunning and interactive” (Reedsy) mini ballet lesson, backstage tour, and exploration of movement.
Ballet Inspiration and Choreography Concepts for Young Dancers (ages 7+) delineates basic aspects of dance.
Truly a passion project, Once Upon a Dance donated the sale price of each book to ballet companies during 2020 and 2021. They continue to donate all proceeds to dance, animal welfare, and environmental charities.
PNB Major Gifts Manager Jackson Cooper has his first children’s book out now. A Kids Book About Kindness‘s description reads, “Do you know what kindness is, really? Do you think being kind to someone means that you’re weak? Do you think you can’t be kind to yourself? Here’s a little secret…sharing kindness is one of the coolest things you can do! You’re never too old, or too young, or too busy to be kind. Anyone can be kind to others, and to themselves, every day!”