Award-winning duo return with new dance-themed novel

Two local writers combined their passion for dance and literature and found a niche that matches a perfect pair of Capezios.

Doris Greenberg of Franklin and Pandre ‘Shandley of New Berlin are former dance teachers with over 40 years of combined classroom and convention dance experience.

They are also the authors of two novels in the Dance Legacy series.

The first, “The Legend of L’Esprit”, won the National Indie Excellence Award 2012. A second edition is now available.

Now the follow-up, “Chasing the Spotlight,” has come out and while it’s a sequel, the book also functions as a standalone novel. And, say the authors, it’s perfect for just about any age.

“Although our books contain a mixture of drama, tragic events, adventure and romance, they are hopeful and uplifting. We are proud of our Midwestern values. Our Dance Legacy series has seen cross-appeal with readers aged 10 to 90 years old.

The books are available in print and ebook versions on and


I asked Greenberg and Shandley about their books in an email exchange and, like perfect co-authors, they collaborated on their answers.

OnMilwaukee: Tell us a bit about your background as a writer?

Doris Greenberg and Pandre ‘Shandley: We found that we shared an interest in writing and that we incorporated our strong grammar and language arts skills into all the jobs we have had. At the dance studio where we met, we quickly became responsible for writing business correspondence. Letters of recommendation from students have become our specialty!

As colleagues with a combined 40 years of experience teaching dance in a top local studio, we have often been called upon to collaborate on scripts for annual productions, brochures and flyers. Pandy wrote for her college journal and Doris wrote articles and reviews for Fetch magazine.

How did you come to collaborate?

As our teaching careers came to an end, Pandy due to a serious neck injury and Doris due to her desire to switch to Plan B, we decided to channel our creativity into another shared passion, the writing. Recognizing the continued growth in popularity of dance, we took a leap of faith and formed Dancers at Heart LLC with the vision of partnering. Along the way, the students planted the seed: “What’s a good dance book to read? Their curiosity prompted us to pursue our dreams leading us to a second career.

We quickly learned to lose the ego and ask ourselves if what we have written is ultimately good for the story. Does this advance the plot? Would our characters say or do that?

Can you talk a bit about the dance connection?

We both grew up with a love of dancing and a desire to take classes and play. We trained until adulthood and were eventually hired as teachers. They say “write what you know” and that’s why our books are in the dance world. Their universal themes resonate with dancers and non-dancers.

The first in the series, “The Legend of L’Esprit”, won the National Indie Excellence Award 2012. It must have been an exciting moment. Did that put pressure on you to follow up?

Winning the YA National Indie Excellence Award for our first novel, “The Legend of the Spirit”, was and still is surreal! We were amazed. Rather than under pressure, we felt inspired and validated to continue the series.

Tell us a bit about what “Chasing the Spotlight” is.

Beating the competition is one thing, eliminating it is another. When Chicagoland High School’s top-rated dancers head to New York City for the National Stairway to the Stars competition, the sightseeing thrills and new romances are soon overshadowed by a spooky demise.

Rumors abound, and while much is uncertain, some things are clear: jealousy, blackmail, and an insatiable desire for fame are at the root of it. Now the question is not who will win the competition, but who will survive it.

“Chasing the Spotlight” is our tribute to New York. Similar in style to “The Legend of the Spirit”, we seek to entertain as well as educate. Each chapter of our latest novel begins with a Broadway show title and its brief history. The storyline and name of the show are incorporated into the action of the chapter.

Will you be doing readings or dedications this time?

Our publisher recently hosted the launch of our book “Chasing the Spotlight” and the second edition of “The Legend of L’Esprit”. It was held at the Franklin Public Library and attracted a lot of people. We plan to visit as many book clubs, independent bookstores and as many dance studios as we have … many of which are owned by former dance students.

They have been extremely welcoming and generous in the past. We also visit colleges to tout the value of solid language arts and proper grammar in hopes of encouraging young, aspiring writers. We created an “Insights to Publishing” workshop to share our knowledge with other writers interested in learning more about the publishing industry.

We are consolidating our program of events which will be posted on our website,

Was it a two-step or will there be a third installment?

We take a little time to launch volume 2.
Yes. We are planning the third volume. There is also talk of a children’s book “Little Libby”. We would love to do a prequel.

Some other recent books by Wisconsin authors include:

“A Tuscan treasure: stories from the most captivating region of Italy”,
by Paul Salsini

Years ago, veteran journalist Paul Salsini transformed his passion for the region from which his parents and grandparents emigrated into a beautiful first novel, titled “Le Cielo”. He took up these and other characters in six other novels and collections of stories and short stories set in Tuscany.

This new collection of stories is again based on many real characters and historical moments and is supercharged by Salsini’s deep love and respect for his subjects. Available on and

“Blondes of Wisconsin: stories”,
By Anthony Bukoski
(UW Press)

The author of the “Time Between Trains”, “Children of Strangers” and “Polonaise” storybooks returns with 16 other interconnected stories rooted in family conflict in a Midwestern Polish-American community, as well as track work navigable. One of the stories in this new paperback, in fact, is called – and unfolded – “Port of Milwaukee.”

“Dead Lines: Slices of Life from the Obit Beat”,
By George Hesselberg
(Wisconsin Historical Society Press)

Despite its title, this paperback is a vivid look at the lives of a few dozen Wisconsin residents, told via obituaries the author wrote for the Wisconsin State Journal for more than 40 years. As anyone who reads well-written newspaper obituaries knows, these latest tributes are more life celebrations than death tales and Hesselberg is a master of storytelling, here sharing the life of a speaking homeless woman. fluent in French, a radio villain, a designer of swords, a pioneering female detective and even a beloved class tarantula. Captivating stuff.

About Karren Campbell

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