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A Young Dancer: The Life of an Ailey Student

Press: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1 edition (March 31, 2009)
Publication Date:2009-3
Author Name:Gladstone, Valerie/ Ivey, Jose (PHT)


Meet Iman Bright, a thirteen-year-old student at the prestigious Ailey School in New York City. 
Iman is passionate about dance, but she also enjoys drawing, playing music, and of course, hanging out with her friends.
Follow Iman as she warms up at the barre, practices violin, and gets ready for a performance with her fellow students.
In descriptive words and striking photographs, this informative picture book provides fascinating insight into the world of dance through the voice of one very talented young performer.


“There's some sweat, lots of smiles and an all-around feeling of joy and pride. 
Aspiring dancers will warm up to Iman and, one hopes, put on some music and start dancing on their own.” ―Kirkus Reviews“A wide range of readers will find inspiration in Iman's dedication and in her joyful approach to her discipline, which allows her to take criticism in stride and to connect to deep feelings” ―Booklist

About the Author

VALERIE GLADSTONE is a biographer of George Balanchine, and has been writing about the arts for twenty years. 
She has published articles on dance in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Travel & Leisure, and Dance magazine.
She lives in New York City.
JOSÉ IVEY has been a professional photographer for more than fifteen years.
His work has been published in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
He lives in New York City.


Children's Books,Biographies,Performing Arts,Arts, Music & Photography,Performing Arts,Dance

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Comment List (Total:6)

  •     This is a really great dance book for kids. It's easy to read and beautiful to look at. The photos are so good that you feel that you are right there in class. It's also great to see an African-American child featured in a children's book about dance - that hardly ever happens.

  •     What better gift to the first interracial dance company, than this exquisite story of a young Ailey dancer? Valerie Gladstone and Jose Ivey have crafted a delightful witness to a young girl's story of joy and persistence. Lovely to read and look at, this is a treat for all ages.

  •     Iman Bright is a teen student at the Ailey School in New York and is passionate about dance. But she also likes drawing and playing music, and has a social life outside the dance studio. A YOUNG DANCER invites any young person passionate about dance to follow Iman as she attends school and does activities outside of her dance world, too. Photos follow her life and encourage kids to develop balanced interests.

  •     What a treasure for anyone interested in dance, especially aspiring dancers. The day to day activities of adedicated and motivated young woman, remind me that there is great beauty in hard work, that moments of serious art happen in practice, among friends and daily. The stage is where the audience usually gets to see"the show", but Gladstone presents the journey to the stage as just as important or MORE. Bravo to an unusual and inspiring book!

  •     Very important book. Young ladies of color dancing touched my heart. Love the dance company this book covers also. Great book for all young dancers. I got a good clean copy too. It was packaged nicely and came on time.

  •     I am a teacher and I purchased this book for a student. It is a wonderful book with fantastic pictures and a great story. It is perfect for tween african american girls with a postive story and awesome pictures that they can relate to. I will buy this again.


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