Dancing in the Wings | By: Debbie Allen

 "Sassy is a long-legged girl who always has something to say. She wants to be a ballerina more than anything, but she worries that her too-large feet, too-long legs, and even her big mouth will keep her from her dream. When a famous director comes to visit her class, Sassy does her best to get his attention with her high jumps and bright leotard. Her first attempts are definitely not appreciated, but with Sassy's persistence, she just might be able to win him over. Dancing in the Wings is loosely based on actress/choreographer Debbie Allen's own experiences as a young dancer." - Amazon.com

 "Dancing in the Wings" is about confidence and believing yourself despite the negative opinions of others. Although we can have a negative outlook on our flaws, our flaws are what makes us stand out.  It was difficult for Sassy to be confident and to notice the beauty in her height, long legs, and big feet. But she eventually learned to be bold and tell herself, yes, even when the world told her no.

"Dancing in the Wings" by Debbie Allen is a beneficial book for children to read because it demonstrates how to stay encouraged, even when others try to tear you down or break your confidence. This book shows children to always keep your head held high and be confident in who you are, and your abilities.

Social Emotional Learning domains from the Book:
  • Self-management
  • Self-awareness

Self-management, " the ability to successfully regulate one's emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations" was taught in the book "Dancing in the Wings." Sassy was the tallest dancer out of all the students in her dance class. She also had long legs and big feet. The other girls in her dance class always made rude remarks towards her, which made her begin to feel bad about herself. The mean comments from the other girls caused a lack confidence in Sassy. It was difficult for Sassy to regulate her emotions and thoughts, but she soon realizes that her height, long legs, and big feet made her unique. She was able to demonstrate self-motivation and goal-setting. Sassy began to motivate herself, even when the other dancers counted her out. She also had a goal to be selected for the dance festival, which she achieved. Sassy could have let the mean comments defeat her, but she decided to motivate and push herself instead. 

Another Social Emotional Learning domain that was taught was self-awareness. Sassy was able to identify her emotions and noticed how they influenced her behavior. But she soon began to realize that she had to be confident in her abilities and who she is. Sassy was also able to recognize her strengths. She saw that her height, long legs, and big feet were actually her strengths when it came to dance, and not a weakness.

We love the messages in the book and rate it 5/5 afro puffs! 

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