Dance as a Means of Showing, Not Telling

A very interesting perspective.

Andrea Lundgren

As writers and artists, we’re always looking for ways to express things better, to show our readers and audience how a character is growing, developing, and changing, and recently, through watching The Glass Slipper, I encountered a new means of adding to the “show, don’t tell” techniques: dance.

The plot is that of Cinderella, with Leslie Caron as the main character, but it plays more attention to the characters than many. There is no magic, no spells, just ordinary people making extraordinary things happen (and it has the most delightful “fairy” godmother I’ve ever met, an eccentric old woman with a delight in words and phrases like “pickle relish” and “elbow”). But what particularly struck me was how they used dance in the story.

For the earliest part, Ella has no friends. No one she can talk to. She’s tried sharing her dreams in the past and been met with…

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