Book Review: DANCERGIRL by Carol M. Tanzman

Ya’ll know my rule.  I don’t review anything unless I have something positive to say.

And man, do I have something to say about DANCERGIRL. It’s good. (Say the ‘good’ with a little bit of a growl). 

In short, it’s a classic stalker tale with a very realistic YouTube-ish twist.  A video of the MC, Alicia Ruffiano, dancing at a party is posted online.  Suddenly, everyone is watching her, loving her skill or hating her popularity.  But one person wants a personal performance, and starts filming her when all cameras should be off…in her bedroom. 

Here are four things that I loved about DANCERGIRL:

1.  Practically Perfect:  Where’s Mary Poppins when we need her? I always have to give props to books that are accurate.  And as a former dancer, DANCERGIRL hit both the technical and emotional elements of performance art like a perfectly executed pirouette.  There were so many places where I said, “Yes! That is exactly how I felt when I danced.” 

And BTW, if someone filmed me while I was reading this book YouTube would have had a new idiot.  Imagine this:  baby on hip, nook in one hand, and me trying to dance the sequences…maybe ten years ago.

2.  Watching You:  Ever kept peeking over your shoulder ’cause you’re sure someone’s behind you?  When you’re finished with DANCERGIRL, you’ll have a new level of paranoia. Sleep with the lights on ladies. This story brings some serious creep factor.

3.  I Got Rhythm:  The pacing for this story was spot on.  There was never a point where I wanted to skim or just read the dialogue.  I was engaged from the first page and stayed locked on till the end. 

4.  Two Legit:  Tanzman packed the cast with characters that could have been stolen from any top-notch dance school in America:  the frazzled director, the dictator-technician, and the free-spirit choreographer. 

There was one thing that made a smidgen frustrated with this story.  On multiple occasions, the MC smokes pot.  Is it realistic?  You bet.  Drug use is common among performers and athletes, but that doesn’t make me any less upset.  I hate, hate, hate to see talent (in this case literally) go up in smoke.

Other than that, DANCERGIRL was a thoroughly engaging story that I would definitely recommend


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