Monday, January 21, 2013

Top Five Posts at Picture Books & Pirouettes

A lot of creative movement teachers have "circle time" at the beginning of class to give the children a chance to share any special thoughts they have before class and to help set up a structure and collaborative tone for the rest of the class. Over at the incredible dance resource Dance Advantage, Nichelle established a circle time of her own a few months ago so her readers could also share their thoughts on a variety of dance topics.

This month, Nichelle is asking bloggers to describe five top posts from their own blogs and why those posts "rock." This sounded like a fun exercise, especially since I haven't spent too much time reflecting on how Picture Books & Pirouettes has evolved since I started it. Here's a bit of what I had to say about the blog in my very first post back in August 2010...

My plan is to blog about a wide variety of picture books that are in some way related to dance...And, since I am still new to this whole blog thing, I'm not yet sure what other directions it might take...

It is reassuring to look back at this and realize I have stuck to my plan of blogging about picture books related to dance. But now -- 122 posts later -- it is also rewarding to be able to highlight a couple of those "other directions" my blog has taken in the last two and a half years...

This post describes the picture book Miss Tutu's Star by Leslea Newman and Carey Armstrong-Ellis. The book is such a wonderful combination of poetry, humor, sweetness, and dance. It introduced me to an author and an illustrator I hadn't heard of before and has become one of my favorite picture books with a dance theme. 

This post about the picture book Drumbeat In Our Feet was one of my most personal posts, as the book reminded me of some of my own life experiences related to Africa and African dance. It also resonated with some of my readers and elicited comments from people I don't often hear from through my blog. 

We're Dancing on a Bear Hunt! 
(September 2011)

One of my favorite "other directions" the blog has taken is my monthly collaboration with Maria's Movers. For "Read It. Move It. Share It," each month I recommend a book for Maria to use in her creative movement classes, and then we share our experiences with the book. We're Going on a Bear Hunt turned out to be a popular book among dance teachers, and I love how Maria used it in her classes!

Read & Romp Roundup 
(January 2012)

Exactly a year ago, I started hosting a monthly roundup of blog posts related to both picture books or children's poetry AND dance, yoga, or other forms of movement. I was really happy with the response, especially among other bloggers who integrate children's literature and the arts. I love interacting with others who share my passions, so I would have to say that the inaugural "Read & Romp Roundup" is another of my favorite posts!

I've had the privilege of interviewing several amazing children's book authors on my blog, but my interview with Allegra Kent stands out in my mind. It is the only interview that I've conducted over the phone (rather than over email) for the blog, and I so enjoyed learning in person more about Allegra's history as a Balanchine ballerina and how she became the author of her debut picture book Ballerina Swan. 

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