Julie Catalano

Spanish variation, "The Nutcracker"

Peasant pas de deux, "Giselle"

"The Swan," Saint-Saens

Rehearsal photo

My favorite partner

Dance

Why a dance section on an author's page?

Because I was a dancer long before I was a writer.

It was all part of a master plan: Dance first, because the body ages at the speed of sound; then acting, because your voice lasts longer than your legs; and then writing, because your typing fingers--and with luck, your brain--will outlast everything else.

As my first (and still) great love, dance prepared me for a life of writing. The discipline of facing a blank page is just once removed from facing your mirror image yet again at the ballet barre, every day, over and over. And over. Keep moving no matter what. Keep writing no matter what.

Both involve great risk, great leaps of faith, and the ability to stay grounded in technique and fly with abandon at the same time. Like writers, dancers have a secret language. We earn the right to speak it only by dancing. Unlike writing, dance is live and immediate. Onstage--sometimes for hours--there is no place to hide, and no way to edit what you've produced.

Cynics might believe that anyone with a computer is a writer. But not everyone with feet is a dancer. We recognize one another almost immediately, no matter how many years have passed since we set those feet in the spotlight. The stage is a magical world that outsiders can visit--and we do love visitors--but to us it is our neighborhood. It's where we live.



Selected Works

Nonfiction
Young adult nonfiction
The history of humanity’s relationship to the animal world
The contributions of a people; "Informative and useful for social-studies classes"
--School Library Journal