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Esther L. NELSON (1928-
Nationality: American
Place of Birth: New York, NY


Nelson's record "Dance, Sing and Listen Again" was named one of the best children's recordings of 1979 by the American Library Association.

Personal Information: Family: Born September 9, 1928, in New York, NY; daughter of Rubin (a fabric cutter) and Freda (a nurse; maiden name, Seligman) Nelson; married Leon Sokolsky (an art teacher), November 18, 1949; children: Mara, Risa.

Education: Brooklyn College (now Brooklyn College of the City University of New York), B.A., 1949; New York University, M.A., 1951; attended New School for Social Research and Bank Street College of Education. Avocational Interests: International travel, "singing and dancing with my granddaughters, . . . and always on the lookout for new songs and dances to add to my collection."

Memberships: American Dance Guild, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (Dance Division), Dance Library (Israel). Addresses: Office: Dimension Five, P.O. Box 403, Kingsbridge Station, Bronx, NY 10463.

Career: Knollwood School, Elmsford, NY, dance teacher, 1953-56; Scarsdale Dance Inc., Scarsdale, NY, dance teacher, 1953-70; Fieldston School, Riverdale, NY, dance teacher, 1958-63; Dimension Five (book distribution, cassette, and recording company), Bronx, NY, partner with composer Bruce Haack, 1963--. Music and dance teacher, 1953-78; teacher at Horace Mann Nursery Years, New York City; lecturer at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Shippensburg College, and Millersville State College. Conductor of dance and music workshops throughout the country for teachers and librarians; keynote speaker at meetings of numerous professional organizations throughout the country.Performer on records for children.


*Dancing Games for Children of All Ages (Instructor Book Club selection), Sterling, 1973

*Movement Games for Children of All Ages (Instructor Book Club selection), Sterling, 1975.

*Musical Games for Children of All Ages (Instructor Book Club selection), Sterling, 1976.

*Singing and Dancing Games for the Very Young, Sterling, 1977.

*Holiday Singing and Dancing Games, Sterling, 1980.

*The Silly Songbook, Sterling, 1981.

*The Funny Songbook, Sterling, 1984.

*The Great Rounds Songbook, Sterling, 1985.

*The Fun-to-Sing Songbook, Sterling, 1986.

*The World's Best Funny Songs, Sterling, 1988.

*Everybody Sing and Dance, Scholastic (New York City), 1989.

Also author of children's record, "Dance, Sing, and Listen Again," 1979. Author of children's records and cassettes with Bruce Haack. Contributor to Dance Magazine and Early Childhood Day Care.


Esther L. Nelson once told CA: "I have always loved and been involved with music and dance, and so it was natural for me to continue into adulthood and to get a masters degree in dance education. I thank my mother, Freda Nelson, for sharing her love of music with me (two of my books are dedicated to her). My branching into the fields of recordings and books was a natural progression, and both times came at the suggestion of parents of children in my dance classes.

"Dimension Five now has a totally equipped sound studio where we record and produce our records and cassettes. We have sold more than 100,000 of our childrens' music and dance participation records and cassettes to schools, libraries, book clubs, and stores and parents all over the country."

About getting started in her career, Nelson adds: "After getting my master's degree in dance education and starting to teach, I went to the library to look for material and found that it did not exist. I had to create much of my work with young children in music and dance, and so after perfecting my craft I started to write books to share what I had found to be successful. My first book, Dancing Games for Children of All Ages, was a huge success with more than thirteen printings, and that encouraged me to go on and write ten more books. They have sold more than half a million copies and are used and enjoyed here and abroad.

"Also founding a cassette company called Dimension Five (the dimension of the imagination) with composer Bruce Haack, we created music and dance participation records as well as cassettes to match five of my songbooks. Being well-known in the childrens' librarian community for my books and cassettes, I began giving workshops for them (in twenty-six states) on how to use music and movement in their story hours. I reached thousands of librarians who were then able to carry my message of the importance of music and dance in the life of the young child directly to their young readers."

Gale Database: Contemporary Authors