It took me a while to get into the flow of this volume, but once I was there, I was all in!
The Dance Class series revolves around three French girls — Alia, Julie and Lucie — who take the same dance class, as well as their families, friends, love interests and rivals. In this volume, Alia is exploring her budding new relationship with Evan, while Julie is trying to break up with her own boyfriend. When all three girls are given the opportunity to fly to Spain for flamenco classes, they leap at the opportunity, embracing adventures and hijinks along the way.
It’s rather slender as far as plot goes, but it’s incredibly dense with lovely details and insight into the life of three dance-obsessed teenage girls. I loved that the girls weren’t cookie cutouts and that they had distinct personalities to go with their different looks, even if you don’t necessarily find out as much about their backgrounds as you might like here. Tho with ten previous volumes to go through, there’s definitely a wealth of material to be had already! As this was my first exposure to the series, I’m thoroughly thrilled to discover that there’s more available for me to read, and as immediately as I’d like to!
Part of the reason it took me a while to get into the book tho, is that the authors are uninterested in catching you up to speed, which is fine. The narration of this book tends, like a webcomic, to read as a complete entry per page, so if you’re unfamiliar with the series, it can feel pretty disjointed as we switch between the perspectives of not only our main characters but also their supporting cast. Once I started figuring out who was who, which happened roundabout the time the story started feeling more like it had a plot than was constituted merely of a series of cute anecdotes, I was completely sucked in.
But also I am a sucker for dance stories, and I really loved following these dance-mad girls as they navigated a world that is usually much less into the art form than they are. Julie’s irrepressible younger sister was one highlight of this book, as were Julie and Alia’s very tired parents. I also need to give a special shoutout to Crip’s note perfect art! Full of emotion and movement, it was that perfect balance of beautiful and cute that makes this comic perfect for both dancers and readers of all ages. I can’t wait to read more of these books, translated from the French by Joe Johnson.
Dance Class #11: Dance With Me by BéKa & Crip was published January 5th, 2021 by Papercutz, and is available from all good booksellers, including
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