A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
Padma Venkatraman’s A Time to Dance is a tale of a dancer in India who rediscovers herself after a serious accident leaves her with only one leg. It is hard to feel sorry for Veda, because she fights so hard to not feel sorry for herself!
Veda has been studying the traditional dance Bharatanatyam for 10 years, and after winning the Bharatanatyam dance competition, the bus taking her back to her studio is in an accident – she has lost her right leg. But her dream of dancing has not been shattered, and with the help of Jim, who creates a special prosthetic (artificial) leg tailored to the remainder of her knee, and the help of an amazing dancing teacher, she learns about herself and her strengths and dances once again.
What has made the difference is understanding the spiritual part of the dance as well as the physical. She begins to teach little ones and watches what the dance does for each. There is a difference in knowing and seeing and understanding. Along the way, we suspect she has found someone worthy of her love.
The story is based loosely on the author’s memory of dancer Shoba Sharma who was injured and became a dancer, as well as several other dancers, Indian and other nationalities, who overcame much to dance.
This was a 2017 Sequoyah Intermediate nominee. The author has written two other books, Island’s End, available in our library, and Climbing the Stairs. – Review by Jan Cravens, Youth Services Assistant