Dayana, Dax, and the Dancing Dragon by Once Upon a Dance

October 10-13

Picture book, 30 pages.

Once Upon a Dance donates all proceeds to charity.

Book on Amazon

Dayana's new baby brother has finally arrived, and she can’t wait to teach him her best dance moves. There’s only one problem: nobody told Dayana that babies can’t stand up. Luckily, little brother has a surprise in store, and Dayana's about to meet the world's coolest dance partner.

* Firebird Book Award First Place Winner
PenCraft Book Awards First Place Winner 
"...a beautiful and triumphant story that highlights the power of persistence and the beauty of dance.
—Pencraft Book Awards

Move along with Dayana (she), Dax (he), Kadeena the dragon (no pronouns), unicorns, trolls, fairies and more. A professional ballerina joins each page with instruction and inspiration. This interactive story will get kids off the couch, exploring movement and dance fundamentals.

Dayana, Dax, and the Dancing Dragon is ideal for children 4-7. While there are some challenging movements, this story would make a great series introduction. Dance-It-Out!s are above level (language-wise) as they are often initially enjoyed with a caregiver or teacher.

Movement, technique, and dance concepts in this story include:

  • Gallop/Chassé
  • Plié
  • Passé (shown but not discussed)
  • Spin/Twirl
  • Jump
  • Kick
  • Russian/Character Dance: Coffee Grinder/Helicopter
  • Rocking/Weight Shift
  • Extended Legs/Arms
  • Activating/Relaxing Muscles
  • Movement Quality

Major themes include Dragons, Siblings, New Baby, Deep Breathing, Travelling, andFaraway Places. 

The Dance-It-Out! books can be used as a supplement for dance or theater studio classes or camps. Dayana, Dax, and the Dancing Dragon would pair well with themes such as Dragons, Mythical Animals, Fantasy, Siblings, Babies, Ballet, Dance, Studying Ballet, Pirate Ships, Unicorns, Queens, Trolls, Castles, or Fairies.

Dance-It-Out! movement journeys are ideal for dance, pre-ballet, creative movement, preschool, daycare, early learning, physical education, homeschool, kindergarten, or first-grade activities. The full collection features male, female, and nonbinary diverse characters. Books make a great gift for boys or girls interested in dance, ballet, gymnastics, or yoga, or reluctant readers who enjoy getting up and moving.

With kind characters, subtle life lessons, and a positive role model in Ballerina Konora, teachers love the kid-approved, ready-made, easy additions to curriculum and lesson planning. Children at home adore the stories that “young readers will return to again and again” (—Reedsy).

About the authors

Once Upon a Dance offers movement, breath, joy, connection, and imagination through stories.

Their catalog of 25 interactive dance books highlights positive messages and role models throughout four main series:
📖 Dance-It-Out! stories combine whimsical tales with movement and subtle life lessons (spans ages 4-9)
📖 Dancing Shapes peeks at a professional ballerina's journey, teaches ballet, and explores detail and form (spans ages 6-11) 
📖 Ballet Inspiration and Choreography Concepts deep dives into technique, tips, and insight for aspiring dancers (ages 8-12)
📖 Prop-Based Dance Stories for Classroom and Anytime Fun debuts in 2023 to encourage scarf and parachute play.

Once Upon a Dance was named a top 10 author of 2022 by Outstanding Creator Awards, and they’ve been honored by over 40 book awards, 1000+ 5-star reviews, and a Kirkus Star. They donate all royalties to charities supporting the arts, animals, environment, or people. Visit for more info.

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