Catalina the Shy Ballerina

Meet the Author

Author Sandy Waters

Born in Twin Falls, Idaho, Sandy Waters has lived in the beautiful state of Idaho her entire life, and currently resides in Boise. She started dancing at the tender age of five. In high school, Sandy began teaching dance, married young, and raised two daughters. Sandy has now owned and operated a dance studio for over 25 years and has taught dance for 30 years.

After a debilitating flare-up with an autoimmune disease, Sandy downsized her dance studio and began teaching less. The illness allowed her creative energy to give light to a story she could read to dance students, to help them feel more comfortable and confident in the classroom without their parents.

Catalina the Shy Ballerina is based on Sandy's daughters Christiane and Jennifer (who were both shy) and their childhood cat Catalina (who was also curiously shy!). The cats in the story are inspired by real cats.

Illustrator Mary Ciancia

Illustrator: Mary Ciancia

In 1990, Sandy met an adult tap student, Mary Ciancia, who remains both her student and friend. Mary generously agreed to illustrate Catalina the Shy Ballerina and brought to life the colorful characters that Catalina now calls friends.

Left: Author Sandy Waters, left, with illustrator Mary Ciancia, right.