Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Lynn Swanson has written a wonderful coming of age story about a young girl attending a prestigious dance camp one summer in "Summer Dance." Coming from a broken home with a deadbeat Dad, her Mom has given Sara a special treat of attending camp this year, but unless she wins a scholarship for the next summer, it will be a one time treat for the financially strapped family.
Sara shares a cabin with a diverse group of girls, all struggling with teenage angst of competition, boys, and dawning maturity.
With a dance background, Swanson is able to nail the growth of a child studying dance, to a young woman realizing that the ability of dance is a gift one must work relentlessly for:
"Sara felt like she had been doing it full out, but when the romantic waltz music began she realized she had more to give."
In an age where we see anorexia running rampant, Swanson's teacher tells her students "Your body is your instrument," reinforcing the idea that our bodies represent us, and should be respected.
Each of the girls are different and often find themselves at odds with each other. When the situation seems to be sliding to a "mean girl" place, the common thread of love for dance pulls them together to help each other to be the best they can.
"We've learned to dance alone and together, to step in for each other and to cheer for each other, to lead and to follow."
All in all, a terrific book of what can be achieved when we set aside our jealousy and pettiness, and come together to support each other the best we can be. In doing this, our own inner light shines just as bright and success will reflect right back at us.