Despite fierce competition from Shangela, Wayne Brady and Gabby Windey, teen TikTok star Charli D’Amelio won season 31 of Dancing with the Stars! Week after week, the judges awarded Charli 10s across the board for her beautiful dancing (clips of which are on Charli’s YouTube channel). Charli’s season may be over, but the party’s just getting started. It’s time for these teen books about competition and dancing to take the floor!
Keep those Dancing with the Stars vibes flowing with Welcome to the Ballroom, a manga by Tomo Takeuchi. High school student Tatara Fujita wants to find something he enjoys doing, but so far nothing has clicked. After a chance encounter with professional dancer Kaname Sengoku, Fujita discovers the world of competitive ballroom. Could this be the passion he’s been searching for?
Charli D’Amelio isn’t the only dancing reality star of her generation. Maddie Ziegler starred on Dance Moms at age 8 and then went on to perform in iconic music videos like Sia’s “Chandelier“. At 14, she even served as a judge on that other dance competition show, So You Think You Can Dance! Read more about Ziegler’s amazing journey in her memoir, The Maddie Diaries.
Perhaps you were rooting for Shangela, the drag queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race. If so, then “the library is open” and Pumpkin by Julie Murphy has arrived. Like Shangela, Waylon Brewer (AKA Pumpkin) is growing up in a small Texas town and experimenting with drag. Nominated for prom queen as a joke by his classmates, Waylon decides to accept the nomination and show everyone what it means to love yourself. Pumpkin is part of the Dumplin’ universe but works as a standalone read.
What was your favorite Dancing with the Stars performance from Charli’s season?