Written by Terrel Lefferts for MagicBeans Bookstore
Both my daughter and I were immersed in the ballet world until March 2020. With extra time and a desire to keep housebound kids moving, we started making dance videos. We named my daughter Ballerina Konora, wanting to create something beautiful from Coronavirus.
Hoping to reach more kids, we switched from videos to books, but were disappointed that hardly anyone bought them. Everyone said the secret was to keep publishing.
Well, okay, then—more books.
I'd taught and taken dance for decades, but after eight months on zoom, I couldn’t stand it any longer. Since I’d quit, I felt like a dance imposter. But shortly after that, I updated our bio and included my own contributions to the Once Upon a Dance team for the first time:
decades of teaching, including an award city council for my work with young dancers
high school and college yearbook photo editor, and my own photography business
college classes in business, design, and marketing
graduate coursework in education
work in early childhood and with non-profits helping kids
teaching university English as a Peace Corps volunteer
completing a 9-month certification program working with kids in the arts
breathing ballet and dance from every imaginable angle, including Board Member
It was like a dope-slap to my forehead—my whole life was leading up to being a kids dance author! It was an epiphany. From then on, I was all in and running. We kept creating the books I wished for as mother and dance teacher.
My daughter would have adored these stories when she was little. And I would have loved to sit on the couch and see her put on a show. Each book is built around curriculum I developed for my dance classes. I knew kids would especially love the creative movement stories after years watching them light up and repeatedly ask for their favorites.
When I started teaching dance, I scoured the internet for books like ours. I wish I had a time machine to go back and give these books to myself – I’d be ecstatic.
To check out our creations, visit www.OnceUponADance.com. We have 13 books in the Dance-It-Out! series (series spans ages 3-9), 4 Dancing Shapes books (ages 6-9), and we’ll debut a series for kids 8+ in early May. We donate all proceeds to charity, and we’re always happy to donate books to teachers/librarians/good causes.
To find this book (Joey finds his Jump) and other great self published children's books, visit our website at www.magicbeansbookstore.com
When you buy a book through MagicBeans we are able to donate new books to under served children, for some these are the very first books they have ever owned.
Please visit our bookstore today and help support Independence, Literacy and Giving Back!