|It's Saturday night. The Dance Hall's aglow.
Call Gramps and our friends. Head to town for the show.
We worked hard all week. The chores are all done.
A country band's playin'. Let's join the fun.
Step-step, glide, glide,
Kick up your feet.
Dance, y'all, dance
To a two-steppin' beatů
Told in a rolicking two-step rhythm, Dance, Y'all, Dance, tells the story of one perfect night at the dance hall. The whole community drops their cares and comes together for some foot-tappin' action. It recreates the excitement of Saturday nights way back when. People of all ages gathered together, sharing news, enjoying each other, caring for and supporting each other. Country music and dance are threads that wind through America's pioneering years and still bind us together.
Dance, Y'all, Dance bubbled up in author Kelly Bennett while she was taking Country Swing Dance lessons in Katy, Texas. She became increasingly interested in the history of western swing and the dance halls. Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas is one of the oldest dance halls in the country, and in the not too distant past, dance halls just like it were the hub of community in rural areas.
An Author's Note provides educators with good material for class discussions on early American settlers, creating communities and the history of country music and dance. Illustrator Terri Murphy's nuanced and delightful western historical details let Sallie and Beau and their family and friends dance right into young readers' hearts and imaginations. Yee-haw! Dance, y'all, dance!
KELLY BENNETT is an active member and former assistant Regional Advisor for the Houston Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and former President of Tulsa Writers. She has won many awards for her work, including Best Picture Book manuscript in the Tulsa World Writing Competition 1996 for Flowers; OWFI's Best Middle Grade novel for Otter Song, and Honorable Mention for her Young Adult novel Wires Crossed, among others. Honors for her published works include: Oklahoma Book Award Finalist for Spider Spins a Story, Fourteen Legends from Native America; Texas Institute of Letters Best Children's Book of 2005 for Not Norman, A Goldfish Story. Not Norman also received a Children's Choice Award and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Medal Award.
TERRI MURPHY studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and worked as a graphic designer before beginning children's illustration. She serves as the representative in Illinois for the SCBWI Illustrators Network and creates illustrations for an ever-growing list of clients.