- When Noah first meets Cate, he helps her with her injury. She believes he is a rich doctor. Why do you think Cate got so upset when she found out he wasn’t?
- Cate says the hatred of her formal first name “was one reason I had let the Lucy thing continue.” What was the other,mainreason? How does Cate change as she spends more and more time with Noah? What difference does Leo’s reappearance make in that progress?
Liza is a divorcee who raised her daughter on her own. How did her husband’s leaving and the divorce affect her? Have you lost a significant other due to abandonment, divorce, or death? How did it change you?
- During their first skating lesson, Noah compares skating to dancing:“It’s like in middle school where everyone stands against the wall and looks across the vast space. No one takes the first step because it’s scary to put yourself out there.” How does this theme continue throughout the story? When is Cate taking other life steps?
- How would you characterize Noah’s relationship with his teammates? How important is it for players to be able to bond?
- Despite his obsessive behavior and sexual intensity, Leo is well liked by friends and has a good relationship with his family. How can one person be both things?
- Cate’s past puts Noah and his career in potential danger. Do you think Cate should have listened to Mr. Collins’s distraction talk and backed off from Noah when Leo first caused the scene at the rink?
- Cate and Noah fall in love over the span of a couple months. What draws them to one another? Does their timeline seem realistic? How long does it take for you to fall in love?
- THE DANCE is written strictly from Cate’s point-of-view. If it was written in third-person, do you think you would have had sympathy for Leo? Why or why not?
- Did reading this book give you a new or better understanding of people with disabilities – either Leo’s or Wesley’s?
- Toward the end of the novel, Liza explains to Cate that she isn’t crazy but experiencing grief and uncertainty. What does she mean by this? What is Cate grieving and what is she unsure about? Discuss the different stages Cate goes through after the incident in the park.
- This novel is about starting anew, protecting yourself from being hurt, and balancing doing that on your own versus accepting help. Did this book make you think about how you can support yourself and loved ones dealing with these themes?