Virtual Author Event - Mary Lou Sanelli ("The Star Struck Dance Studio of Yucca Springs")
We all need a safe place to shine when we are young, if not in our parent's eyes, at least in our own. Lucy Maglietta, growing up in the town of tiny Yucca Springs on the vast Mojave Desert, longs for a place that--unlike her home life--feels safe and calm, and she finds it at the Star Struck Dance Studio.
When the aging ballet mistress passes the teaching baton to Lucy, she accepts, along with her friend Richard Myers, tap-extraordinaire, who helps run the daily operations of the studio. Together they are of great strength and even greater naïveté, a combination often true in the dance world. For Lucy and Richard, the Star Struck becomes the center of their lives.
Tensions rise after their only African American student and Richard are brutally attacked, and Lucy and Richard soon discover just how much prejudice exists in a seemingly innocent landscape. What becomes crystal clear for both friends is that the only way to beat back fear, for a dancer, is by dancing.
This is a story that explores the wide range of human emotion from behind the intimate curtain of a dance studio. With humor, compassion, a sprinkling of irreverence, and a sharp eye on contemporary life, Sanelli explores, through Lucy, what it means to be a daughter, a teacher, and a friend at a moment when she is forced to approach life as a lesson in forgiveness in an attempt to understand why haters hate.
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The author has earned a solid reputation in the literary and public-speaking community through a steady commitment to writing and twenty years of successful public readings and presentations. She has published seven collections of poetry and three works of non-fiction, Among Friends, Falling Awake, and A Woman Writing. The Star Struck Dance Studio (of Yucca Springs) is her first novel (Chatwin Books).
Her regular columns appear in Seattle's City Living Magazine, Art Access magazine, The Queen Anne/Magnolia News, as well as Lilipoh magazine and Dance Teacher magazine. She has written for the Seattle Times, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Morning Edition, National Public Radio, Seattle's NPR affiliate station KUOW FM, and many other publications and radio stations. Honorariums include an Artist Trust GAP Award, Poetry on the Buses, A Jack Straw Writers Award, A Seattle Bumbershoot Festival Book Award, The Skagit River Poetry Festival, A GoodReads Notable Book Award, and writing residencies in France, Costa Rica, and Spain.
Also a master teacher of Lyrical style contemporary dance, she teaches workshops throughout the world.This professional dance training and performance experience enables her to present with skills that surpass the average author reading.
She lives with her husband in Seattle.