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Dancer by Shelley Peterson


Dancer is the story of sixteen year old Hilary ‘Mousie’ James and the remarkable life experiences she has with her house, Dancer. The story begins with Mousie riding Jumper in the Royal Winter Fair where unexpected events resulted in English royalty noticing Dancer. Over the next year Mousie is continually challenged at school and in the Equestrian world. She is rewarded through her determination and by unwavering young love. Through these adventures, Mousie connects to a Spirit that speaks to her in her dreams, helping her to keep her stallion safe from those who wish to either own or destroy him. Dancer is a story about unbreakable bonds of love, horses, loss and surviving. This novel is written in the third person by Shelley Peterson. Peterson is an Ontario local who is currently involved in the Equestrian industry.


Hilary “Mousie” James is the main character in this novel, following her experiences with her horse Dancer, with whom she has an untouchable bond with. Mousie shows a level of maturity above her young age of sixteen throughout the entire novel.
Dancer has a personality unlike any other horse and an unwavering loyalty to his owner. He is willing to risk his own life in order to protect his rider, Mousie.

Christine James is the mother of Mousie and struggles to afford necessary farm maintenance.

Samuel Owens is the owner of a nearby stable and a man who desperately wants to own Dancer for his niece Sara to ride.

Rory Casey plays an important supportive role to Christine over the course of the year.

Sandy Casey is a support for Mousie when she needs one most and helps her overcome some of her fears of being betrayed.


This novel primarily takes place in Caledon, Ontario on or near the James’s farm Hogscroft. A secondary location in this novel is Highgrove, England while Dancer and Mousie perform for the Royal Family.

Series Information

This is the first in a series of three by Peterson, Dancer (1996), Abby Malone (1999) and Stagestruck (2002). All three novels have characters and locations that carry over and appear in one another. The intended audience for this novel is young adults.

Peterson, Shelley. Dancer. Erin: The Porcupine’s Quill, 1996. Print.

I chose to film this project while at home in order to use my horses as visual aids to the story being told. Developing this book talk was interesting for me because it was a book that I had read for many years but was able to look at it from a new perspective in the academic setting. In order to record my book talk, I found it easy to use the recording function on my iPhone but editing became a challenge. I had previous experience using Windows Movie Maker but their most recent update made the program much less user friendly and I had to re-learn how to use the program. Using various resources I was able to understand the editing functions and began to experiment with the credit pages as to how the effects influence the presentation. Creating a book talk was an enjoyable process that I would enjoy doing again.