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THE SCOOP | National Ballet Principal Dancer Tina Pereira Releases Children’s Book

By Anya Wassenberg on December 8, 2023

Principal Dancer Tina Pereira (Photo courtesy of the National Ballet of Canada)
Principal Dancer Tina Pereira (Photo courtesy of the National Ballet of Canada)

National Ballet of Canada Principal Dancer Tina Pereira has released a children’s book titled Tina Prima Ballerina: Butterflies Dance Too. The story was co-written with Loredana Cunti, with illustrations by Fabiana Salomão.

Published by Loreworks Press, it’s available now as both as a digital and print book.

Tina Prima Ballerina: Butterflies Dance Too

The charming story follows Pereira as a young dancer who dreams of becoming a prima ballerina. She’s nervous on the day of her audition, with butterflies in her stomach that she has to learn to deal with. It’s a story about empowerment and overcoming fears.

More than a story, though, the book offers young readers practical advice, including the science behind that butterflies in your stomach feeling, and deep breathing techniques that can help them harness their energy and redirect it towards the positive.

“Whether it’s writing a test, trying out for the soccer team or starting a new job, we all experience butterflies at every stage in life. Working with Tina and Fabiana to help kids — and adults — magically turn them into friends is transformational,” said Cunti.

“The book is just beautiful. I definitely can see myself in these pages and so many other budding ballerinas. Embrace the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable. It’s all a part of you and your journey,” said Misty Copeland, best-selling author and Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre.

Tina Pereira, Principal Dancer

“From a very young age, my sole aspiration was to be a ballerina and at 37, I became The National Ballet of Canada’s first Caribbean Principal Dancer in its 72-year history,” said Pereira in a statement.

“Even after years of experience, I still feel the flutter of butterflies in my stomach before every performance. My wish with this book is to ignite the spark of ambition in children’s hearts and empower them to chase their own dreams, no matter how big or small.”

Tina trained at Canada’s National Ballet School after a childhood spent in her native Trinidad. She joined the NBC in 2001, and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2021. Critics have noted Tina’s technical and artistic skills. Her repertoire includes:

  • Odette/Odile in Swan Lake
  • The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker,
  • Valencienne in The Merry Widow,
  • Lise in La Fille mal gardée,
  • Katerina in The Taming of the Shrew,
  • Spring in The Four Seasons,
  • The title role in Carmen,
  • Among many others.

She recently made her debut as Olga in John Cranko’s Onegin, and audiences will see her reprise the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in James Kudelka’s The Nutcracker, December 9, 21 at 2:00 p.m., December 15 at 7:00 p.m. and December 27, 31 at 1:00 p.m.

Tina Prima Ballerina:, Butterflies Dance Too is available in Toronto at Indigo, Coles Bookstore (Queen St. East location), Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore, Mara Dancewear, The Shoe Room at Canada’s National Ballet School and The National Ballet of Canada’s Ballet Boutique at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts during performances.

You can also order the book (Kindle or print) from Amazon [HERE].

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