Throwback Thursday – Debbie Learns to Dance

Debbie Learns to Dance

By Gilbert Delahaye   Illustrated By Marcel Marlier


With each of my Throwback Thursday books so far there have been fairly special memories attached to them and this one is no different.  My dad would umpire football on weekends and would bring us a lolly or treat home to share, sometimes he would buy me books and this was one of them.  I was seven, I went to dance classes (I was a chubby, clunky dancer and certainly not ballerina material) and then I got this book.  It inspired me, I used to practice the moves in the book and pretend I was a beautiful, delicate ballerina.  I remember reading this book for many years, at least until I was about twelve still practicing the moves.


These two pages in the book are by far my favourite and I would look at them in detail, particularly the 5 positions.  I didn’t even take ballet classes but I still wanted to be like Debbie, I was a Jazz and Tap girl so knowing and being able to kind of do the 5 positions made me feel pretty cool.


I love how the author acknowledges the help they got from Ballet professionals which when you are 7 years old makes the book seem quite important.


I remember loving these two pages because Debbie was now old enough to wear pointe shoes.  If I knew how much they hurt ballerinas feet I may not have been so excited, but all the same I was excited.  I always thought Debbie looked so graceful doing arabesques. I remember spending more time looking at pictures than reading the words.


The very last pages of the book both confused and intrigued me.  I couldn’t comprehend that the little girl dancing on the stage was Debbie, but all the same I was mesmerised by Debbie’s dream of dancing on the stage to the music of Cinderella.  The lights beaming on the stage in the pictures and the look of joy on Debbie’s face made the ending beautiful, dreamy even, everything a little girl wants when they think of being a ballerina.


Thanks Daddy for helping instill the love of reading into my life.

3 Thoughts

  1. I had this book! And I loved it too. Just like you, I used to practice the positions & thought it was so beautiful & Debbie was so graceful. Wow, what a nostalgia trip! Thank you! ❤️


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