Guest Post and Giveaway by Author Julie Helm
Posted by Krystal Larson at 12:04 AM Saturday, July 21, 2012
Julie Helm speaks out about what inspired The Crooked Swan:
When I was a young girl I loved to dance. I’d lie in my bed at nights and imagine that I was the lead dancer in a world famous ballet company. My dreaming took me everywhere: On pointe shoes I danced into the waiting arms of Mikhail Baryshnikov or any other dreamy dancer that captured my fancy. Mikhail would lift me so high the stage lights forced me to close my eyes. Sweat would roll down my face and arms; it all felt so real. Leaping and whirling, moving gracefully on my toes, I danced until sleep claimed me and I could no longer think.
So I begged my mother for dance lessons. And though I danced my heart out in my classes, one day I realized that I would never be a world-class dancer. And believe it or not, I was okay with that. As I stretched and tried bending my young body into the limitless contortions my dance teacher tried teaching me, I realized that I didn’t need to be the lead ballerina to fulfill my passion for dance…all I really needed was to enjoy myself and to love it. There were many times I couldn’t get my body to move the way I wanted. So I would have to compensate and do the very best I knew how. Some bodies aren’t designed to be as limber as others. My body definitely struggled to be as limber and coordinated as I needed.
But dancing wasn’t just about being a ballerina and becoming famous. Dancing for me became a lot of fun. I met other dancers, from time to time, who were more limber and obviously more talented than me. Sometimes it was hard to watch them because I wanted to dance perfectly, too. But I kept dancing…because I knew that if my abilities were ever judged by what was in my heart…I would be the prima ballerina, the most graceful beautiful dancer of them all.
Years passed, and dancing was put aside to raise my family. One night while I was lying in my bed trying to find sleep…I thought again of a young imperfect girl who wanted to dance as gracefully as other dancers…and The Crooked Swan was born. Though the main character’s story is not my own, there are many situations in the book that related to me as a young dancer.
A beautiful dance, one that is orchestrated to perfection, is never just about what the body is capable of doing, even with God given abilities and talent. It’s the combination of heart and ability that make the truly great dancers.
I invite you to read The Crooked Swan. You will not be the same afterwards. The story takes you on an unforgettable journey into the world of dance, where a reluctant teacher and a young girl’s desire to dance open our eyes…so that me may all appreciate and love The Crooked Swans in our lives.
Check out the authors website here!
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