Belluna is a basketball player, sister, and daughter with one remarkable feature. While on a family outing, a storm sweeps Belluna up on a wild ride. As she is tossed about by the wind, Belluna discovers she can overcome her fear and embrace her uniqueness to take control of her movement and her mind.
Ballerina Konora joins each page with suggested actions to get kids moving alongside Belluna in her tale of level-headed tenacity and a celebration of individuality. Each Dance-It-Out! story is a movement-based children’s one-act ready for the imagination stage.
The quirky, whimsical adventure of self-discovery was created by an award-winning dance instructor, partnered with her award-winning, professional ballet-dancer daughter. They have 19 covid-19 creations published or coming soon. Their first book, Dancing Shapes: Ballet and Body Awareness for Young Dancers, has won multiple awards including a 2021 Independent Press Award (Winner).
Targeted Age Group:: 4-7
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
We wanted to keep housebound kids connected with movement.
…While some activities presented challenges for the Noollabs, there were certain advantages to their peculiarities. For example, all four had excellent posture, with their lofty heads pulling their bodies up straight and tall. They often completed running marathons together, and when they swam, no one ever got tired. Many tasks, hobbies, and even the parents’ jobs were easier because of their differences.
[Show me your tallest dance stance, as if your head was a balloon reaching up to the sky. As a ballerina, I spend a lot of time standing tall like Belluna.
Let’s lift our knees as we run in place, then move our arms like we’re swimming.]
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Once Upon a Dance is a mother-daughter team.
Ballerina Konora's danced with Texture Contemporary Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet (Professional Division), Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Ballet Idaho.
Konora’s mother taught creative movement and ballet for decades and was recognized by her City Council for "embodying the spirit of partnership and commitment to children in our community" for her work with young dancers. She’s also worked in early childhood education and with non-profits. During a two-year Peace Corps stint, she taught English and dance in Africa.