‘You can’t what?’ Ellie crossed her arms and narrowed her big green eyes at me.
Uh-oh. I knew I was in trouble.
I looked at Ellie’s fluoro-pink jazz boots. Then at Ashley’s bag with the ripped handle. Then at a picture of a young Miss Caroline dancing on a cruise ship above the bluest water I’d ever seen.
But I couldn’t look at Ellie.
‘I can’t come to your birthday party,’ I whispered. ‘I’m sorry.’
‘Why not?’ said Ellie.
I picked at my leotard. Then I gave a little cough. Wow. Sometimes Ellie can be scary when she’s excited or passionate about something and can’t stop talking. But when she’s silent? That’s terrifying.
Paige has been dancing forever. She takes almost every dance class on offer at Silver Shoes dance school, as well as others. But she’s exhausted and starting to lose her passion. An extra dance commitment means she’s going to miss her best friend’s birthday and now her best friend Ellie is not talking to her. Paige is sure all of her friends are better dancers than she is and now she’s starting to wonder if Benji, her ballroom dancing partner is sick of dancing with her too. Paige’s mother was once a dancer and is keen for Paige to take as many opportunities as she can. Her mother also manages the costumes, but Paige is so tired, she’s struggling to be enthusiastic about the costume her mother is making for the ballroom competition. Black and white illustrations are scattered throughout. Added extras include a bio for Paige, a glossary and some dance step instructions.
Dance Till You Drop is a fourth title in the Silver Shoes series from Random House. Each features one of four friends who dance together at Silver Shoes dance school. Paige is feeling the pressure to dance in every class, so much so that’s she’s not sure what she wants to do. All she knows is that she’s not doing anything as well as she’d like to. Her friends have their own challenges, and it’s up to Paige to take control and tell her former-dancer mother how she feels. Her fatigue is feeding her anxiety, but she eventually does make her own decisions. Recommended for mid-primary lovers of all styles of dance.
Silver Shoes 4: Dance Till You Drop by Samantha-Ellen Bound
Random House Australia 2015 ISBN: 9780857983725
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller