A Time to Dance
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4.29 / 5

"A Time to Dance" Characters Analysis

By Karen Kingsbury

christian fiction | 528 pages | Published in 2006

John and Abby Reynolds are the perfect couple—envied by their friends, cherished by their children, admired by their peers. But John and Abby know they're just pretending to be happy. In fact, they're waiting for the right time to tell the kids they're going to divorce. But at the family meeting where they plan to tell their children, Nicole shares a surprise of her own: she's getting married. How can they spoil her joy with their announcement?They can pretend a little longer—until after the wedding. But questions begin to haunt them as the date draws nearer. What happened to the love and commitment that held them together for so long? Is it still there somewhere under all the pain and misunderstanding? And is it still possible, alone in the moonlight on an old wooden pier, to once more find . . . a time to dance?The first novel in Karen Kingsbury's celebrated series about the power of commitment and the amazing faithfulness of God.


Estimated read time: 9 min read

List of Characters

Character NameRole
John BaxterProtagonist
Elizabeth BaxterProtagonist
Ashley BaxterSupporting Character
Landon BlakeSupporting Character
Brooke BaxterSupporting Character
Luke BaxterSupporting Character
Dayne MatthewsSupporting Character
Katy HartSupporting Character
Cody ColemanSupporting Character
Sarah AdamsSupporting Character
Molly BaxterSupporting Character
Bailey FlaniganSupporting Character
Andi EllisonSupporting Character
Chloe BlakeSupporting Character
Emily BaxterSupporting Character
David BaxterSupporting Character
Kari BaxterSupporting Character
Erin BaxterSupporting Character
Ashley Baxter BlakeSupporting Character
Landon Blake Jr.Supporting Character
Luke BlakeSupporting Character
Brooke BlakeSupporting Character

Role Identification

In "A Time to Dance" by Karen Kingsbury, the characters play various roles that contribute to the overall storyline and themes of the book. The main protagonists are John Baxter and Elizabeth Baxter, who are at the center of the narrative. They are supported by a wide range of characters, including family members, friends, and love interests. Each character has a unique role to play in the lives of the protagonists and adds depth and complexity to the story.

Character Descriptions

  • John Baxter: John Baxter is a compassionate and loving family man. He is a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. John values family above everything else and is known for his wisdom and guidance.
  • Elizabeth Baxter: Elizabeth Baxter is a strong and resilient woman. She is a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Elizabeth's faith in God is unwavering, and she often serves as a source of strength and inspiration for others.
  • Ashley Baxter: Ashley Baxter is John and Elizabeth's daughter. She is a talented musician and struggles with her identity and purpose in life. Ashley is passionate and determined to find her true calling.
  • Landon Blake: Landon Blake is Ashley's love interest and a successful musician. He is supportive and caring, always encouraging Ashley to follow her dreams.
  • Brooke Baxter: Brooke Baxter is John and Elizabeth's granddaughter. She is a talented dancer and faces challenges and obstacles in her pursuit of a career in dance.
  • Luke Baxter: Luke Baxter is John and Elizabeth's grandson. He is a dedicated and hardworking young man who aspires to become a professional baseball player.
  • Dayne Matthews: Dayne Matthews is a popular actor and a close family friend of the Baxters. He is known for his charm and charisma, but also struggles with the pressures of fame.
  • Katy Hart: Katy Hart is Dayne's girlfriend and a successful actress. She supports Dayne but also faces her own struggles in the entertainment industry.
  • Cody Coleman: Cody Coleman is a talented musician and Ashley's close friend. He provides emotional support and guidance to Ashley during her journey of self-discovery.
  • Sarah Adams: Sarah Adams is a friend of the Baxter family and a fellow dancer. She is passionate about dance and forms a strong bond with Brooke.
  • Molly Baxter: Molly Baxter is John and Elizabeth's great-granddaughter. She is a young girl with a vibrant personality and brings joy and laughter to the family.
  • Bailey Flanigan: Bailey Flanigan is a close friend of the Baxter family. She is an aspiring actress and faces challenges in her career and personal life.
  • Andi Ellison: Andi Ellison is a friend of the Baxter family and a talented writer. She provides support and guidance to Ashley.
  • Chloe Blake: Chloe Blake is Landon's sister and a supportive presence in Ashley's life. She is a loving and caring sibling.
  • Emily Baxter: Emily Baxter is John and Elizabeth's daughter-in-law. She is a dedicated wife and mother who values her family above all else.
  • David Baxter: David Baxter is John and Elizabeth's son and a loving husband and father. He is a source of stability and support.
  • Kari Baxter: Kari Baxter is David's wife and a devoted mother. She is caring and loving towards her family.
  • Erin Baxter: Erin Baxter is David and Kari's daughter. She is a teenager who navigates the challenges of adolescence and forms close bonds with her siblings.
  • Ashley Baxter Blake: Ashley Baxter Blake is Ashley's married name. She is a committed and loving wife to Landon Blake.
  • Landon Blake Jr.: Landon Blake Jr. is Ashley and Landon's son. He is a young child who brings joy and happiness to the family.
  • Luke Blake: Luke Blake is Ashley and Landon's son. He is a teenager who aspires to follow in his father's footsteps in the music industry.
  • Brooke Blake: Brooke Blake is Ashley and Landon's daughter. She is a talented dancer who dreams of a career in the performing arts.

Character Traits

  • John Baxter: Compassionate, wise, devoted
  • Elizabeth Baxter: Strong, resilient, faithful
  • Ashley Baxter: Talented, searching, determined
  • Landon Blake: Supportive, caring, talented
  • Brooke Baxter: Dedicated, passionate, determined
  • Luke Baxter: Hardworking, determined, ambitious
  • Dayne Matthews: Charming, charismatic, conflicted
  • Katy Hart: Supportive, ambitious, talented
  • Cody Coleman: Supportive, talented, caring
  • Sarah Adams: Passionate, talented, supportive
  • Molly Baxter: Joyful, vibrant, playful
  • Bailey Flanigan: Aspiring, determined, resilient
  • Andi Ellison: Supportive, talented, wise
  • Chloe Blake: Loving, caring, supportive
  • Emily Baxter: Dedicated, loving, supportive
  • David Baxter: Stable, supportive, loving
  • Kari Baxter: Caring, loving, devoted
  • Erin Baxter: Adolescence, curious, loving
  • Ashley Baxter Blake: Committed, loving, caring
  • Landon Blake Jr.: Joyful, playful, loving
  • Luke Blake: Aspiring, talented, determined
  • Brooke Blake: Talented, passionate, dedicated

Character Background

The characters in "A Time to Dance" come from diverse backgrounds but are all connected through their relationships with the Baxter family. John Baxter and Elizabeth Baxter have raised their children and grandchildren with love and instilled in them strong values and faith. Ashley Baxter, their daughter, is a talented musician who struggles to find her purpose and place in the world. Landon Blake, a successful musician, becomes Ashley's love interest and a source of support and encouragement. Brooke Baxter dreams of becoming a professional dancer and faces challenges on her journey. Luke Baxter aspires to become a professional baseball player and works hard to achieve his goals.

Dayne Matthews, a popular actor, and his girlfriend Katy Hart, also involved in the entertainment industry, face the pressures and challenges of fame and success. Cody Coleman, a talented musician and Ashley's friend, provides emotional support and guidance as she navigates her path. Sarah Adams, a friend of the Baxter family and a fellow dancer, forms a close bond with Brooke as they pursue their passion for dance.

The extended Baxter family, including Molly Baxter, Bailey Flanigan, Andi Ellison, Chloe Blake, Emily Baxter, David Baxter, Kari Baxter, Erin Baxter, Ashley Baxter Blake, Landon Blake Jr., Luke Blake, and Brooke Blake, each have their own unique backgrounds and aspirations that contribute to the overall fabric of the story.

Character Arcs

Throughout the book, the characters experience growth and transformation as they face various challenges and obstacles. John Baxter and Elizabeth Baxter provide guidance and support to their children and grandchildren, offering wisdom and love in times of need. Ashley Baxter embarks on a journey of self-discovery, finding her true calling as a musician. Landon Blake supports Ashley in her pursuit of her dreams and finds his own fulfillment in their relationship.

Brooke Baxter faces setbacks and struggles in her pursuit of a career in dance but remains dedicated and determined. Luke Baxter learns valuable life lessons through his passion for baseball and grows as a person. Dayne Matthews and Katy Hart navigate the complexities of their careers and find strength in their relationship.

The extended Baxter family also experiences their own character arcs, with each member facing their own challenges and finding personal growth and fulfillment along the way. From Molly's joyful presence to Bailey's resilience, Andi's wisdom, and Chloe's loving support, each character contributes to the overall narrative and undergoes their own transformation.


The relationships between the characters in "A Time to Dance" are central to the story. John Baxter and Elizabeth Baxter share a deep and enduring love, serving as a model for their children and grandchildren. Ashley Baxter and Landon Blake's relationship provides support and encouragement for Ashley's journey of self-discovery. Brooke Baxter forms a close bond with Sarah Adams, who becomes her friend and confidante in the world of dance.

The friendships between the characters, such as Cody Coleman and Ashley Baxter, Bailey Flanigan and Molly Baxter, and Andi Ellison and Ashley Baxter, provide emotional support and guidance. The romantic relationships between Dayne Matthews and Katy Hart, and Luke Baxter and his love interests, add depth and complexity to the narrative.

The extended Baxter family's relationships, from David and Kari Baxter's marriage to the sibling dynamics between Luke, Brooke, and Ashley, showcase the importance of love, support, and togetherness in facing life's challenges.

In conclusion, "A Time to Dance" by Karen Kingsbury features a rich ensemble of characters who play vital roles in the story. Through their unique backgrounds, character traits, and relationships, they contribute to the themes of love, faith, and personal growth. The character arcs and interconnections add depth and complexity to the narrative, making it a compelling read for fans of Karen Kingsbury's writing.