Wednesdays Are for Writers: Meredith Mast Author Profile

Meredith MastMeredith Mast has been performing, studying, and teaching ballet for over 40 years. Mrs. Mast began her ballet training in Miami, Florida, under the instruction of Carol Ravich, a former ballerina with the Boston Ballet, and Thomas Armour of the Miami Ballet. At age 14, Mrs. Mast was accepted into the Houston Ballet Academy on full scholarship. While in the Academy, she danced several of Ben Stevenson’s works, including the lead in Tangos for Emily, which was performed for Princess Christina of Sweden at the Academy’s annual concert.

At the age of 17, Mrs. Mast was accepted into the Houston Ballet where she danced roles in many of the classics including Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppelia, The Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. She has also performed several Balanchine works including Serenade, Four Temperaments, and Symphony in C.

Upon retiring from the Houston Ballet, Mrs. Mast earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating, Meredith pursued a career in human resources and also began teaching ballet. After moving to Madison with her husband in 1999, she designed a program specifically for children ages 3-9 called Storybook Ballet™. The children’s ballet program incorporates basic ballet instruction with costumes, props, music, drama and children’s stories. In addition, she has taught classical ballet at all levels at various dance studios in and around Madison, Wisconsin.

Mrs. Mast’s passion is teaching and working with children. When teaching dance to young children, she believes in tapping into the child’s imagination and allowing the child to explore the beauty of dance. By making movement magical, she hopes to “plant the seed” for a love of the art form which “will grow” individually. With older children and adults, she emphasizes proper classical ballet technique, yet still provides opportunities for the students to move freely such that their love of dance will continue to flourish. Mrs. Mast is also a published author of her first Storybook Ballet original fairytale entitled, Willow Rose Learns Honesty– coauthored by her mother. Mrs. Mast enjoys her home out in the country and is also the mother of four boys!

Latest News

Willow Rose Learns Honesty is now available on audiobook! Designed to be danced to or just enjoyed by children who like audiobooks – the books in the Storybook Virtues series are an instant children’s classic, one endorsed by parents, grandparents, teachers, and children everywhere.

Book Blurb

Willow Rose Learns Honesty is the first in a series of unique new children’s books created by authors Meredith Mast and Marvia Korol. Ms. Mast, the founder of Storybook Ballet, wanted to create stories for her students that were colorful, concise, and would incorporate a set of virtues to empower children for life. In this delightful introduction to the concept, we meet Willow Rose – who is lonely in her new garden. The flowers and the insects don’t want to be friends with her, fearful of her thorns. Then one day she tells a lie to a grasshopper. When she realizes that not being honest hurts, Willow Rose must learn to tell the truth. In practicing the virtue of Honesty, Willow Rose makes a friend and this, in turn, brings happiness. Designed to be read aloud, danced to, or just enjoyed by children learning to read – the books in the Storybook Virtues series are an instant children’s classic, one endorsed by parents, grandparents, teachers and children everywhere.

Sample Interview- Questions presented by Chat and Spin Radio

1. Tell us about the books you have written and published.
Willow Rose Learns Honesty is the first published book in our series, Storybook Virtues. My mother and I have written five children’s books-each focusing on a different virtue such as patience, honesty, and responsibility.

2. What inspired you to write your first book?
At my ballet school, we read fairytales within our classes for 3-6 year olds. My mother and I decided to write our OWN stories- stories that incorporated a virtue such as honesty, patience, kindness, etc- but that also tied in imagination and movement. The stories would be colorful, concise, and have a clear message. We feel that with dancing, telling the story, and acting out the virtue- our students will gain a better understanding of the virtue.

3. How did you come up with the title?
We came up with the title as our main character is a rose bush, and we thought Willow Rose had a nice sound to it. The main message of the story is how Willow learns the importance of being honest- and we wanted that to be conveyed in the title.

4. Why should people buy / read your book?
Our book, Willow Rose Learns Honesty, is a delightful children’s story that helps teach the importance of honesty. With colorful illustrations, characters derived from a garden, and a length appropriate for young children- we hope that Willow Rose will engage, teach, and delight our young readers!




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