My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle's Journey to Alvin Ailey by Lesa Cline-Ransome James E. Ransome Robert Battle Online

My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle's Journey to Alvin Ailey
Title : My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle's Journey to Alvin Ailey
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781481422215
Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 48

“In James E. Ransome’s realistic pastel portraits, Battle, his family and his teachers all seem lit from within.” —The New York Times Book Review“An ongoing success story for all readers and especially Ailey’s worldwide legion of fans.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)A boy discovers his passion for dance and becomes a modern hero in this inspiring picture book biography o“In James E. Ransome’s realistic pastel portraits, Battle, his family and his teachers all seem lit from within.” —The New York Times Book Review“An ongoing success story for all readers and especially Ailey’s worldwide legion of fans.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)A boy discovers his passion for dance and becomes a modern hero in this inspiring picture book biography of Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.When Robert Battle was a boy wearing leg braces, he never dreamed he’d study at Juilliard. Though most dancers begin training at an early age, it wasn’t until Robert was a teenager that his appreciation for movement—first from martial arts, then for ballet—became his passion. But support from his family and teachers paired with his desire and determination made it possible for Robert to excel. After years of hard work, the young man who was so inspired by a performance of Alvin Ailey’s Revelations became the artistic director of the very company that motivated him. Today, under Robert’s leadership, Alvin Ailey continues to represent the African American spirit through dance.Featuring illustrations brimming with vibrant color and swirling motion, this biographical picture book from husband-and-wife team James Ransome and Lisa Cline-Ransome includes a foreword from Robert Battle himself as well as a bibliography, suggested further reading, and an author’s note.Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded in 1958 by choreographer Alvin Ailey. He envisioned a company dedicated to enriching the American modern dance heritage and preserving the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience. When Mr. Ailey began creating dances, he drew upon his “blood memories” of his home state of Texas, the blues, spirituals, and gospel inspiration, which resulted in the creation of his most popular and critically acclaimed work, Revelations. Since its founding, the company has performed in seventy-one countries on six continents. It’s repertory includes works by Mr. Ailey and ninety other choreographers, and new works are commissioned each year. Judith Jamison succeeded Mr. Ailey as artistic director, and in 2011, she selected Robert Battle to be her successor. Learn more at AlvinAiley.org.


My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle's Journey to Alvin Ailey Reviews

  • Matthew

    To check out my reviews: dancinginth3darkThis was an utter disappointment in terms of the writing and story development. The message should be impactful illustrating that someone can accomplish their lifelong dreams with hard work and dedication but the writing ruins it and it feels like they are trying to shove it down my throat. It does not help that I didn't read the book title properly because I thought I was reading about who is Alvin Ailey.I have never heard of Robert Battle and I do not k [...]

  • Tasha

    Starting from his birth through his rise to Artistic Director at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, this picture book celebrates Robert Battle’s life. Born with bowed legs, he was taken in by his aunt and uncle and then raised by his cousin Dessie. It was with Dessie that he discovered a love of music and words. He sang in the church choir and after he got his leg braces off, he began to take karate. At age 13, he started dance late in life for a dancer. Soon Robert was noticed by his hig [...]

  • Jasmyn

    My Story, My Dance is a biography written about the life of the famous dancer Robert Battle. He took us on his journey, his triumphs and his struggles. He gave us insight into his upbringing. He was raised by his aunt and uncle because his mother wasn't able to. That is where his love for music and the arts began. As a child he has to wear braces that would help straighten out his legs. Though most dancers begin dancing at an early age, the support of his family, his tireless effort, and determi [...]

  • Nancy Kotkin

    Text: 3 starsIllustrations: 5 starsPicture book biography of Robert Battle, dancer, choreographer, and artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The text contains some gaps (i.e. How did Robert get from ballet to modern dance? What happened after he graduated from Julliard? Has he been able to earn a living from dance?) and glosses over some of the less pleasant elements of Robert's life (i.e. Why couldn't Robert's mother raise him? Did Aunt Anna die? Is there any lasting impact f [...]

  • Chelsea Couillard-Smith

    The illustrations are the real star here, though Battle's journey is well-articulated and inspiring. But the way Ransome captures Battle's movements with his pencil sketches is nothing short of stunning. The end papers alone are worth pouring over. A solid enough narrative that should inspire budding dancers made exceptional by Ransome's drawings.

  • Jessie

    This traces Robert Battle's life from birth to when he took over Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. It talks about his early love of music, how important family and church were in his life, and his experiences in martial arts and dance. I hadn't known that he was in leg braces as a child or that he didn't dance until middle school!I loved the choice to illustrate in pastels because of that tradition within dance art.The only thing I thought the book lacked was some movement from ballet to moder [...]

  • Kayla Graham

    Majestic and colorful through illustrations and text, this biography about Alvin Ailey's artistic director is remarkable. Formatted as a picture book the sketched illustrations are colorful and bring the story to life with vivid detail. The story tells the life of Robert Battle from his humbling beginnings of wearing leg braces in Miami, to his triumphant career in New York City as one of the most notable dancers to ever grace the stage.

  • Jo Oehrlein

    Who would guess that Robert Battle spent most of his life until he was 6 with leg braces?It shows Robert's childhood, his grounding in family and the church, the danger that led him to martial arts, and the love of movement that led him to ballet. It follows him to Juilliard and then quickly on to Parson and Battleworks before the Ailey company.

  • Sydney Martindale

    I thought this book was nice. The art was beautiful and did a very good job of depicting the dancers movement. I also enjoyed the forward before the story from the guy the book was about. All in all, a good biography.

  • Jen

    "Dance is a metaphor for how we get through life. It's about timing, it's about daring, it's about grace, it's about intensity, it's about overcoming difficult steps - but then, finally, it's about finding joy." -Robert Battle, foreward

  • jocelyn hanan

    This one im sure a young student could relate to. But for me it was to long and drawn out and the illustrations were not intriguing enough. a very boring read

  • Diana Valdivia-Rodriguez

    This book is also excellent about a person achieving their goals to become a dancer.

  • AMY

    Great story of a famous dancer who worked with Alvin Ailey later. Beautiful illustrations. This is a biography/picture book. Recommended Gr. 4-5.

  • Katherine Wess

    This informational biography book tells the story of the main character, Robert, who despite wearing leg braces as a youngster, dreamed of becoming a dancer. With much effort and perseverance, along with the support of his family, he fulfills his dream and as a African-American teenager travels from Miami to attend Julliard. The book contains very colorful illustrations, full-colored scenes and details charting his journey from its beginning to his career in dance and choreography.

  • Venus

    Review originally posted on Children's AtheneumWhen Robert Battle was a boy he wore painful leg braces. He never imagined that one day he would go to Julliard or become a director of a dance company, the very same one that motivated him to dance in the first place. This is the story of that journey from leg braces to martial arts to dancing. It is about passion and dreams. For Robert Battle dance was a way to tell stories and in this book it is just another way to share this rich tradition with [...]

  • Barbara

    Robert Battle was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth or with all the advantages one might think someone aspiring to a career in dance might need. Growing up in Miami in the 1970s and 1980s, the young boy required braces on his legs to provide the extra support they needed to grow strong and straight. But he had all the emotional support in the world he could possibly need in the form of his family who loved music. He also enjoyed singing spirituals and learning karate and began taking bal [...]

  • Brenna Longenecker

    Plot Summary: This picture book biography is about a boy named Robert who loved to move. However, he was born bow-legged and could only dream about making a career out of dance. With the help of his family, his dream became a reality. He started with martial arts and then developed a love for ballet. After lots of practice, he was accepted to the New World School of the Arts. In his last year there, he applied at the Julliard School in New York, where he received a full scholarship. He used danc [...]

  • Kayla Rhome

    Plot Summary:-"My Story, My Dance Robert Battle's Journey to Alvin Ailey" is a biography picture book by Lesa Cline-Ransome. This biography is about Robert Battle and his journey through a struggling child hood of moving around and a physical disability where he has to wear leg braces. He attends church weekly with his family and is instantly filled with music and spirit. He quickly realizes that he has a strong passion for dance and after watching Alvin Ailey's performance of the modern dance R [...]

  • Samantha

    A picture book bio about dancer Robert Battle. There's a lot of information here, maybe too much. Robert's childhood, rise to fame, and current career are all covered which made for some jumpy page turns that kept making me turn back to see if I missed something. Especially strange for me was the few pages of childhood caregivers in which I believe Aunt Anna passes away, though it is not mentioned. I wanted all the facts, even if they were hard.The author and illustrator's notes helped me unders [...]

  • Christina

    Beautiful pastel illustrations, with soft flowing lines and colorful rhythms bring to life the dancing of Robert Battle. Introduced by Battle himself, with photos. He grew up in Florida, raised by aunt, uncle and cousin; wore leg braces until age six! He always loved dance, and at 13 was inspired to start dancing when he saw the Alvin Ailey troupe perform. Eventually formed his own dance company, then in 2011 was selected by the director of the Alvin Ailey troup to succeed her, quite an honor. T [...]

  • Rachel Asper

    My Story, My dance is a great biography that talks about a young boy following his dreams to become a ballet dancer. It is difficult because of his race and gender but he powers through to show the world his talent. I have read multiple books this week with this similar theme and I feel it should be repeated so it gets its point across. Following your dreams is not easy. It takes time and effort. The boy in this book, Robert works so hard and is accepted to the best dance university, Juilliard. [...]

  • Alice

    3.25 starsWhile I like a good under dog story, seemingly insurmountable odds, I can't rate this one very high. I enjoyed the story and the illustrations really showed movement. I loved that he was willing to work hard. I liked that he had bowed legs and that didn't stop him. It was a well told story .I made the mistake of looking up youtube Robert Battle performing and some of the dances he has choreographed and they just are not my cup of tea. Modern Dance? I guess is what it is.n't thrill me a [...]

  • Traci Bold

    The illustrations are phenomenal but the writing reads like a children's biography which it is. I appreciate Robert Battle's journey to where he is now and it is a fantastic story. I just wish the author, Lesa Cline-Ransome brought out more emotion in this story to give it the oomph it deserves.Still a good book which is why it rated 4 stars but more oomph in the writing would have matched the amazing illustrations for 5 stars.Illustrated by James E. Ransome, forward by Robert Battle and publish [...]

  • Laura G

    I am a fan of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, so I was eager to read the story of Robert Battle! I did not know much about his personal story, so I was fascinated to learn about his physical struggles as a young boy, as well as to learn about the family situation in which he was raised. And to learn that he didn't start dancing until his early teens! How wonderful that he was surrounded by people who supported him so overwhelmingly. My daughter and I are going to see Alvin Ailey, including R [...]

  • Kara

    The story of how a little boy wearing leg braces became a 13-year-old beginner dancer and eventually the artistic director for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. While it highlights Battle's hard work, this picture book doesn't leave out the guidance and support he received from family members and teachers, who are also part of his story and his dance.Pairs well with "Alvin Ailey" by Andrea Davis Pinkney, "A Dance Like Starlight by "Kristy Dempsey," and "Firebird" by Misty Copeland.

  • Kate

    Gorgeous artwork from Ransome, who does a great job of conveying movement. I love the pages with sketches of Battle dancing. This well written life story is accompanied by author and illustrator notes, bibliography and further reading (all excellent books there). Great introduction and inspiration to dance.

  • Sue

    Listed in CCBC Choices 2016 under the Arts. I appreciated this book for both the story and the illustrations, particularly the graceful lines of the dancer. How wonderful it is to know we have another beautiful example of determination and passion for our young readers. Sweet spot: Dancers, Grades 4-8

  • Mindy Wilson

    My Story, My Dance is a great picture book for older children. A story about a young boy who overcame painful leg braces to fulfill his dream of becoming a ballet dancer. The illustrations are full-page, bright and further the story. This picture book is definitely for older readers - maybe middle school and high school even.

  • Lynn

    Extensive back matter includes a quote by Alvin Ailey. Students interested in dance may be inspired not only by the story but also the illustrations, which remind me of a sketch book with dancers graceful movements flowing across the pages.

  • Mary

    No offense to the author, but the illustrations are stunning from endpaper to endpaper. They provide a sense of movement rarely seen on a static page. The text of the book is both moving and informative and should serve as an inspiration to all to work hard so you will achieve your dreams.