Onisere is a young black girl who wants to become a ballet dancer but is afraid that it would be too difficult for her to succeed. One night, her younger brother, Tayo, who has no interest in ballet at all, comes into her room and they are both swept away on a fantasy journey through the history of black British ballet.
Their guide on this journey is the decidedly grumpy Simbira, who doesn’t like children and yearns for her (long) past life as a ballerina. Simbira takes them down a road that begins in 40’s London with Ballet Nègres, goes up to Glasgow and Scottish Ballet, travels to New York and Dance Theatre of Harlem, stops off at the Los Angeles Olympics, then on to Mandela’s South Africa before returning to English National Ballet, Northern Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet in the UK.
This new children’s book is aimed at 4-8 year olds and is a fun, lighthearted and wonder-filled story that brings to life the experiences of black British ballet pioneers for a younger audience of all races.
The book is introduced by Tamara Rojo, the former Artistic Director and Lead Principal Dancer at English National Ballet, and closes with a call to young dancers to follow their dreams from the legendary dancer and choreographer, Carol Straker.
All proceeds from the sale of this book will support the Black British Ballet project.