We all need a safe place to shine when we are young, if not in our parent's eyes, at least in our own. Lucy Maglietta, growing up in the town of tiny Yucca Springs on the vast Mojave Desert, longs for a place that--unlike her home life--feels safe and calm, and she finds it at the Star Struck Dance Studio.
When the aging ballet mistress passes the teaching baton to Lucy, she accepts, along with her friend Richard Myers, tap-extraordinaire, who helps run the daily operations of the studio. Together they are of great strength and even greater naïveté, a combination often true in the dance world. For Lucy and Richard, the Star Struck becomes the center of their lives.
Tensions rise after their only African American student and Richard are brutally attacked, and Lucy and Richard soon discover just how much prejudice exists in a seemingly innocent landscape. What becomes crystal clear for both friends is that the only way to beat back fear, for a dancer, is by dancing.
This is a story that explores the wide range of human emotion from behind the intimate curtain of a dance studio. With humor, compassion, a sprinkling of irreverence, and a sharp eye on contemporary life, Sanelli explores, through Lucy, what it means to be a daughter, a teacher, and a friend at a moment when she is forced to approach life as a lesson in forgiveness in an attempt to understand why haters hate.
Mary Lou Sanelli, author, speaker, and dance teacher has published seven collections of poetry and three works of non-fiction. This is her first novel.