You want a brother to go in there with a ballerina book?

K admires Beautiful Ballerina while Z studies for a geography test.

Photographer, Susan Kuklin, captures 4 girls, all students at Dance Theatre of Harlem, as they perform a ballet—co-choreographed by Endalyn Taylor, the director of Dance Theatre of Harlem. The ballet is set to the music of Marilyn Nelson’s poem, which repeats the line, “Beautiful ballerina, you are the dance.”

K: Look at the beautiful ballerinas in this book.

K holds up a double-page spread.

Z nods with little interest.

K begins to reread some of the lines, particularly those with dance terms.

K: I could have been a dancer.

Z: Gosh, the pictures are that good?

They both laugh.

K & Z drop by the Indian River Library after homework.

K: Go drop these books off and pick up my holds. (K gives Z Beautiful Ballerina and a Diary of a Wimpy Kid Playaway.)

It’s after school so adolescent boys are standing around outside the library.

Z: Mom, you want a brother to go in there with a ballerina book?

K laughs.

Z: Maybe you can hold Beautiful Ballerina down (read hide it)?

Note: K realizes she probably missed an opportunity to teach Z about gender as a social construct, but what would you have done or said?