Born to Dance: Celebrating the Wonder of Childhood

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Born to Dance: Celebrating the Wonder of Childhood

Born to Dance: Celebrating the Wonder of Childhood

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Eleanor Powell) exuded not only a wholesomeness and perfectionism that no one in Hollywood could rival, but a kind of immaculate aura. I can't remember reading a more moving biography." Sydney Ladensohn Stern, author of The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics The book is a thorough examination of Eleanor and her life, from growing up with a single mother, to her work on Broadway, and then her relatively short 8-year career at MGM. Also covered is her personal life and several aborted engagements to a couple of men before her heart was thoroughly taken by up-and-coming actor Glenn Ford. Eleanor firmly believed she could not balance a career and raising a child, so when her son Peter was born, she effectively retired from film. She ended up taking a show on the road and appearing independently in a few films and even a Vegas show over the next 15 years to help pay the bills, all while Ford was cheating on her with his leading ladies. Eleanor Powell: Born to Dance is a vital book. Paula Broussard and Lisa Royère have crafted a thoughtful biography about an important figure in film history that deserves this recognition. Their decades of hard work and thorough research is evident, as is their love for Eleanor Powell. A highly enjoyable read that gives this remarkable woman her long-awaited due, and will no doubt encourage new fans to discover her work. First and foremost, I have to highlight the theme of the book, centering around "a celebration of what it means to be young and full of possibility and to live life joyfully." It was all captured so beautifully through the many selected titles, including: "play with me," "when I grow up," "oops," "do they like me?" and more.

I approached reading "Eleanor Powell: Born to Dance" (written by Paula Broussard and Lisa Royere, who met her in her later life) with some trepidation after having read one too many self-published biographies that were released with little or no editorial supervision with occasionally dreadful results including inaccuracies and typos. This is not the case here. After having read the book I can say that I greatly enjoyed reading it and have very few reservations about it. Born to Dance is all about the visuals so I won't hold off any longer and include my many favorite shots: From Jordan Matter, YouTube star and New York Times–bestselling author of Dancers Among Us, a celebration of what it means to be young and full of possibility, featuring gorgeous photographs of well-known dancers (including Tate McRae and Sofie Dossi) as well as stars in the making. With Eleanor Powell: Born to Dance, authors Paula Broussard and Lisa Royère pay an overdue tribute to one of Hollywood's most mesmerizing dancers with this engaging and detailed biography. Despite Royère's personal connection to Powell, the book presents an objective and balanced portrait of an entertainer who reluctantly traded in her pointe shoes for tap and made film history. I had 29 partners, but I met my match with Ellie,” Fred Astaire was quoted to have said about Eleanor Powell. In 1952, he told columnist Hedda Hopper that Eleanor was “one of our greatest talents,” but lamented that she was “a bit too powerful for me.” How about that? That was the reason that Astaire gave as to why the two were only paired up once, in Broadway Melody of 1940. What could have been.This book is absolutely true and gorgeous. If you have known, or are the parent of a wiggling little critter turning pirouettes in all of places, then you might have a dancer on your hand to support. Not everyone is born to dance, but those that are, know it. For them, there is no separation of any kind in the world, just dance. And the images as well as the dedications beautifully illustrate it.

The actress, who went toe-to-toe with Fred Astaire as a dancer during Hollywood's golden era, is the subject of a new book, "Eleanor Powell: Born to Dance," which puts a spotlight on her life and career. Authors Paula Broussard and Lisa Royère, who began their research in the '70s, spoke to numerous sources who knew and worked with Powell, as well as Powell herself. Dance is storytelling and a language; it is a means of expressing emotions, both powerful and beautiful. Dance requires you to build your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Dance is multicultural. It transcends boundaries; it creates and connects friends” I approached "Born to Dance" as many readers have or will, not knowing a great deal about Ms. Powell and perhaps having some unanswered questions about her life and times. Eleanor Powell was without a doubt the premier tap-dancing film star of all time. Her legendary performances graced such MGM motion pictures as Born to Dance and Rosalie, and her 'Begin the Beguine' number with Fred Astaire in Broadway Melody of 1940 will never be duplicated.... Powell has long deserved a good biography. Her life and career should never be forgottenI love, love, love movie musicals. One of my early memories is me and my dad watching Swing Time with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on public television. I was instantly smitten. As I grew older, I devoured books on the subject and watched as many musicals as I could. One of the things I always wondered was why I couldn’t find a decent biography on one of the best dancers of the silver screen, man or woman, in Eleanor Powell. I’m glad to say that Born to Dance is the biography I’ve been waiting for. Born to Dance: Celebrating Moments of Joy, from Toddler to Teen by Jordan Matter is a celebration of what it means to be young and full of possibility. The book is full of lovely color photographs of young dancers (ages 4-17) by Dancers Among Us photographer Jordan Matter, along with Jordan's personal observations and quotes from some of the dancers about joy, life, dance, and family. This book by authors Broussard and Royere covers the life and career of Eleanor Powell. Powell is often overlooked in the history of musicals and dance on film but she was the greatest female tap dancer to appear in the movies. Many will argue (including me) that she was the greatest tap dancer in film, period. This book beautifully captures young dancers on and off stage. Everyday life seems inseparable from a dancer’s heart/body connection. Each young person featured here told the photographer that they were born to dance. Dance had chosen them. This book is a loving and faithful tribute to one of Hollywood's great dance icons. Well-written and thoroughly researched, it will be indispensable for anyone interested in Eleanor Powell and the art of tap.

Christina Rice, author of Mean...Moody...Magnificent! Jane Russell and the Marketing of a Hollywood LegendBonus Scan the QR code next to dozens of photos and watch behind-the-scenes videos documenting the shoots. I received a digital copy of 'Born to Dance' from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you! In Paula Broussard and Lisa Royère, Eleanor Powell has the biographers she deserves. Their Eleanor Powell: Born to Dance is a warmhearted account of Powell's ascent from childhood poverty to international stardom, a journey reliant on both Powell's immense talent and her relentless perfectionism. The authors combine vivid descriptions of Powell's fabulous tap-dance sequences with behind-the-scenes accounts of the painful physical and emotional costs she endured to achieve them. It was interesting to read all about Powell’s work ethic and the fact that the studios did not take her as seriously as they took her male counterparts. It’s also amazing how poorly MGM treated her, as is true of many of their stars, and underutilized her while she was under contract. From Jordan Matter, YouTube star and New York Times– bestselling author of Dancers Among Us , a celebration of what it means to be young and full of possibility, featuring gorgeous photographs of well-known dancers (including Tate McRae and Sofie Dossi) as well as stars in the making.

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