Miriam Landis has experienced a gamut of ballet adventures as a student with the Ballet West Academy, trainee at the School of American Ballet, professional ballerina with Miami City Ballet, and now instructor at Pacific Northwest Ballet and author of three fictional books for young adults.  

Landis hopes her varied experiences can help others in their journey. “Whenever your ballet trajectory comes to an end, as it does for every dancer, it is a hard thing to process because it’s such a big part of your identity,” said Landis.

She began writing about her time training to become a professional dancer and realized she had a story to share with young dancers going through similar experiences.

“You spend all your time focusing on ballet with your eyes shut to everything outside,” she said. “My hope with these books is to show these dancers that they are not just ballet dancers in the story, but people who learn skills to pursue passions and learn that dance can be a part of you that can be taken anywhere. Your success doesn’t have to be measured just in ballet, but to grow through the process, not just with an end goal that is out of your control.”

Landis recently hosted a Master Class with Ballet West Academy, coming full circle to the time she visited the Academy two years ago with illustrator Jill Cecil (and former Ballet West Academy student) to develop visual concepts for her latest book, “Lauren in the Limelight.”

“The kids actually acted out the entire story in the book while I took pictures of them,” she said. “It was very important to me that it was illustrated correctly. When I came back, some of the same students are still there, so it was special to say, ‘here is the book as a version of your stories.’”

In “Lauren in the Limelight,” readers follow the journey of three young dance students as they go on pointe and prepare to audition for a professional ballet company. “It is a coming-of-age story for each of them, with lessons each has to learn with ballet as the prism that helps them grow,” Landis said.

“Lauren in the Limelight” can be purchased through the Ballet West Boutique.

Buy Lauren in the Limelight Book