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Former resident's kids book coming to stage as a ballet

June 24 performance at Vanier Hall written by former P.G. resident Amy Beeman to include 117 young local dancers

A children’s ballet based on a book written by Prince George native Amy Beeman is coming to Vanier Hall on Saturday, June 24.

Beeman has teamed up Judy Russell’s Enchainement Dance Centre to feature 117 young dancers aged 3-12 in the ballet, which captures the spirit of her book, Unwrap Your Dreams.

“The ballet will provide audiences with a unique and enchanting way to experience the magic of Unwrap Your Dreams while being entertained by the stunning performances of these talented dancers,” said Beeman, who grew up dancing under Russell’s instruction, starting when she was five.

“As an ex-dancer… this is an especially exciting collaboration for me. My illustrator for the book (Christina Dill) did an incredible job and the pictures are very magical and it sort of lends itself to a lot of creative ideas.”

The 16-page rhyming book delves into the dreams of children and the limitless possibilities that come from them. It encourages children to believe anything is possible if they just look for the gifts around them. Beeman’s adopted nine-year-old son Stanley, who moved to Canada from Haitii when he was six, had bad dreams and got scared by them and she used that as the theme for the book.

“I would just talk to him and say, you can change your dream if you like, if you’re not enjoying your dream just say in your dream, ‘I don’t like this I want and new one and  you can change it,’ and he said ‘Oh OK’ and he didn’t have any more bad dreams,” said Beeman.

The idea for the ballet came after Russell ordered copies of the book to give to her grandchildren.

“We were talking last year and she said she loved the images and the idea and she wanted to do the junior ballet for a year-end recital,” said Beeman. “I’m going to fly up to watch it, I think it will be fun to watch and I have friends whose kids are dancing in it, so that’s even cooler.”

Beeman says the ballet is a perfect opportunity for parents, educators and anyone who shares the same love for children’s literature and dance to gather together and celebrate the spirit of imagination and creativity.

The ballet performance starts at 4 p.m. on June 24. Tickets are now on sale online.

Beeman lives in Vancouver with her husband and three children, where she writes a blog, According To Amy. She’s a professionally trained coach who operates a business to help people become better versions of themselves and recently created a three-month program geared toward working moms entitles (Re)discovering Your Best.