To Dance

by Siena Cherson Siegel, illustrated by Mark Siegel
October 2019 – Atheneum Books / Simon & Schuster (US)

A beautifully refreshed and expanded special edition of the Sibert Award-winning graphic memoir about the dreams and realities of becoming a ballerina.

Ballerinas are young when they first dream of dance. Siena was six—and her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance classes at the School of American Ballet, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet while working with ballet legend George Balanchine.

Part family history, part backstage drama, this beautifully updated graphic memoir—which features a refreshed design and a brand-new scrapbook of Siena’s mementoes—is an original, firsthand look a young dancer’s beginnings.

Siena Cherson Siegel is an author and former dancer who trained at the School of American Ballet. TO DANCE is her story.

Mark Siegel is the author and illustrator of several award-winning picture books and graphic novels. In addition to writing and illustrating, Mark is also the founder, and creative and editorial director of First Second Books. The Siegels live in Tarrytown, New York. Visit Mark at


“TO DANCE is a beautiful portrait of the magical world of dance, and an even more beautiful portrait of a young girl growing up. A must-read for all dreamers who discover themselves. Brava, Siena!”—Peter Boal, artistic director, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and former principal dancer, New York City Ballet

“The familiar tale of a young dancer’s progress takes on a newly poignant aura by being translated into the unexpectedly appropriate medium of the graphic novel.”—Terry Teachout, author of All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine

“I treasure the marriage of these lovable pictures with the humble story of becoming a ballerina. I believe that with this book, the number of ballet lovers will grow.”—Maya Plisetskaya, prima ballerina, Bolshoi Ballet