In the first part of this interview, Lynn Swanson discussed her dedication to dance and what inspired her to write her award-winning novel, Summer Dance. The book follows a 13-year old named Sara who has been accepted into a prestigious summer dance program in the northern woods of Michigan. Caught in an emotional whirlwind of artistic development, dance competition and the boys across the lake, readers follow Sara as she learns through dance and friendship about life and her future dance career.
Why focus on the world of dance?
Because my world has always been dance. My world has also always been writing. My world is only truly joyful when engaging in one of these. My world is smashingly joyful in combining dance and writing.
How do you feel your story relates to young girls in summer intensives?
My young readers have told me that it rings true to them in describing trying to make friends with roommates who are also your competitors, trying to be cool socially while keeping your commitment to dance, trying to keep stamina and artistry in class and performance auditions, and above all, trying to adhere to the scholarship winning qualities at Lakewood: "leadership, cooperation, enthusiasm, and improvement".
What lessons can aspiring dancers take away from this novel?
Aspiring dancers can get an inside look inside at least one type of summer program. At Lakewood, dancers are there for the entire summer and it allows time for growing friendship, but also for growing friction among those girls who don't get along very well. I hope all young readers will be inspired to keep their killer competitive instincts while understanding and learning ways to create leadership and harmony. When that happens, dancers and performances reach high levels of richness.
To find out more information about Lynn Swanson and her novels, go to www.LynnSwansonbooks.com.