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I Dream in Dance

I Dream in Dance takes readers on a journey through different styles of dance using a rhythmic cadence and vibrant images.

Photo of Julietta Skoog
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I Dream in Dance


Tonight I am an Ethiopian Dancer

Feel the rhythm, feel the drum

Roll my shoulders, bounce, pa-pum!

Hair flows, skirt is free

My back is a wave on the sea


Tonight I am a Ballerina

Toes pointed,  hair in a bun

The piano plays each note one by one

At the barre, plie, tendu

Leap to the center and spin one- two


Tonight I am a Tap Dancer

I make my own rhythm, shizzle slide boom bam

Jazz music swirls, time step, shim sham!

Shuffle ball change, rat a tat tat

Tap shoes click, I tip my hat


Tonight I am a Ballroom Dancer

My beautiful gown glides across the floor

Sequined high heels twirl and soar

Graceful outside, strong inside

Waltzing gently like the tide 


Tonight I am a Hip Hop Dancer

Fancy sneakers, baggy pants.

The stereo beats in a trance.

Kick my legs, spin on my head, 

Pop and lock, crump and  bend


Tonight I am a Flamenco Dancer

Heels hit hard and both feet play

Arms are curved above my head, OLE!

I wear a red dress and the rose in my hair

Castanets click click as they slice through the air


And when I wake up, I am me, a Modern Dancer! 

I put on sweats and shirt cut right. 

My curly hair is up, not tight. 

Barefeet I dance, feet flexed, arms wide

Twirling, tilting, leaping higher than the sky

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

While we have a few images as examples, I am excited to see the various styles of dance come to life with more diverse illustrations in ideally a board book. I imagine a young toddler on the lap of their caregiver and the caregiver is smiling as they read and recall their own youth and relationship to dance, however big or small.

Share your suggested book title

I Dream in Dance

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

I Dream in Dance Tonight I am an Ethiopian Dancer Feel the rhythm, feel the drum Roll my shoulders, bounce, pa-pum! Hair flows, skirt is free My back is a wave on the sea Tonight I am a Ballerina Toes pointed, hair in a bun The piano plays each note one by one At the barre, plie, tendu Leap to the center and spin one- two Tonight I am a Tap Dancer I make my own rhythm, shizzle slide boom bam Jazz music swirls, time step, shim sham! Shuffle ball change, rat a tat tat Tap shoes click, I tip my hat Tonight I am a Ballroom Dancer My beautiful gown glides across the floor Sequined high heels twirl and soar Graceful outside, strong inside Waltzing gently like the tide Tonight I am a Hip Hop Dancer Fancy sneakers, baggy pants. The stereo beats in a trance. Kick my legs, spin on my head, Pop and lock, crump and bend Tonight I am a Flamenco Dancer Heels hit hard and both feet play Arms are curved above my head, OLE! I wear a red dress and the rose in my hair Castanets click click as they slice through the air And when I wake up, I am me, a Modern Dancer! I put on sweats and shirt cut right. My curly hair is up, not tight. Barefeet I dance, feet flexed, arms wide Twirling, tilting, leaping higher than the sky

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

The association of reading books for babies and early toddlers is fundamental for early language development. When children feel a connection, closeness and comfort by being held while reading, they associate positive feelings with reading. When the book is ALSO appealing to adults, there is a symbiotic reinforcement to keep reading and support the attachment, bond, and language development. For older toddlers, language development occurs interactively through rhythm, rhyme, and story. Even very young children dance. Babies who are just standing bounce their knees! A book that is visually stimulating and invites the child and the parent to include a little movement while reading integrates brain development. Pam Leo cites research around brain activity that lights up when you hear a story describing feelings like being cold or hungry; in contrast reading about dance lights up the brain in a kinesthetically POSITIVE way. We can’t help but wiggle!

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I do not have personal experience with Philadelphia, however I understand there is a larger Ethiopian population. My own dance career was heavily influenced by experiences dancing in West Africa (Senegal, Gambia), many general African dance classes in high school and college, and a summer program in college with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, so I chose to incorporate an Ethiopian style of dance for this particular manuscript.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Dance is universal! Including different styles of dance will hopefully resonate to most, and offer exposure to all. My goals for this book are connection, relationship, and inspiration, all through the lens of child development. Snuggling with a caregiver and engaging through the story builds trust and attachment. This connection and relationship then offers children the safety to learn new vocabulary, concepts, and be inspired through the art of dance. Dance was integral to my entire growth and development. I credit it with helping develop life skills such as determination, focus, discipline, memory, responsibility, executive function, and mindfulness.

Location: Country

USA

Location: State or Department

Washington State

Location: City

Seattle

Website URL (optional question)

www.besproutable.com

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a school psychologist, school counselor, early childhood expert, and the co-founder of Sproutable, a company that helps parents grow remarkable kids! I am very passionate about working with young children and am also a mother of three. I believe books are absolutely the most essential tool a parent can use to teach, and as a school counselor they are integral to every lesson. I originally wrote the concept and book 8 years ago, if you can believe it! It was a fun project that was inspired by a strong desire to write a children’s book. I had been a professional dancer and retired when my first daughter was born; when she was 2, I realized I missed that creative outlet and space to create art. I teamed up with my dear friend Joanne Kophs who is an artist and graphic designer to illustrate the book and we got as far as researching production companies but stopped quickly when the industry seemed impenetrable.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

These were the original concepts by Joanne and give the flavor of the potential. We are eager to make them more diverse and reflect a more urban influence when moving forward with the project.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists
  • Author: School psychologist; co-founder Sproutable; Illustrator: Graphic designer

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Photo of Perlina Murray
Team

Some of the expressions are too much and since some of the dances may not be known to rhe children illustrations will help them understand. And involvement wirh the care giver andless leading and more interaction will be great. Nice job but you need to tweak it.

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