Book cover of Finding My Dance

Finding My Dance



Publisher & Publication Year

Penguin, 2022

Publisher's Book Page


Ria Thundercloud (Ho-Chunk/Sandia Pueblo)

Author's Website 


Kalila J. Fuller



Professional Indigenous dancer Ria Thundercloud tells the true story of her path to dance and how it helped her take pride in her Native American heritage. At four years old, Ria was brought into the powwow circle, ready to dance in the special jingle dress her mother made for her. As she grew up, she danced with her brothers all over Indian country. Then Ria learned more styles—tap, jazz, ballet—but still loved the expressiveness of Indigenous dance. And despite feeling different as one of the only Native American kids in her school, she always knew she could turn to dance to cheer herself up. Follow along as Ria shares her dance journey, from dreaming of her future to performing as a professional.

Notable Achievements

CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2022 Commended


Publishers Weekly: "In a heartfelt, personal-feeling narrative, Thundercloud encapsulates many Indigenous traditions; Fuller’s unlined graphic art employs warm, rich colors that align with the narrator’s heart, determination, and love of dance."

Kirkus Reviews: "Accompanied by Fuller’s evocative illustrations that fill pages with bright colors and dynamic figures, Thundercloud’s rousing story of an uncertain child who grows to take pride in her identity will resonate with readers."

School Library Journal: "A warmly illustrated memoir of dance and culture, this will have broad appeal about using art for expression and to overcome difficulties."

Educator Guide

Link to Guide

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