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Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerinaby Misty Copeland
Synopses & Reviews
In this deeply felt and beautifully written memoir, Misty Copeland reveals her inspiring and at times heartbreaking journey to become the third African-American soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theatre.
When Misty Copeland first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious thirteen-year-old in baggy gym shorts to become one of America's greatest classical ballerinas. But she did just that. In Life in Motion, Misty describes how she overcame incredible adversity to make history and achieve her dreams of becoming a leading ballerina in the world-class American Ballet Theatre.
From her childhood spent moving around to escape her mother's string of boyfriends and husbands to pressures to mold her body to a dancer's ideal, every challenge Misty faced was met with the same perseverance, passion, and drive that brought her dreams to life. A true prodigy, Misty was dancing en pointe within two months and performing professionally in just over a year: a feat unheard of for any classical dancer. Recognizing her talents, Misty's white ballet teachers soon took her in so she could continue training at a high level. Caught between the calm, control, and comfort she found in the world of elite ballet and the harsh realities of her own life, Misty became involved in a highly publicized custody battle instigated by her mother to bring her home — a struggle which Misty talks about in detail for the first time. She also reveals how it felt to be the only black woman in the American Ballet Theatre's corps de ballet as she spanned the globe in world-renowned performances.
As unique as Misty herself, Life in Motion transcends the bounds of the traditional ballet biography to tell a uniquely American story of perseverance and achievement in the face of extreme challenges. This is a beautiful memoir of identity, of passion, and of grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.
"The first African-American soloist in the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) of New York City, Copeland was a latecomer to the art and took her first class at age 13.Told in graceful prose, the memoir recounts her quick but singular rise — her struggles with compulsive overeating, racism, injuries, and self-doubt, as well as high points like discovering acceptance in the melting pot of New York, reconnecting with her father, founding her own dance-wear company, and performing with Prince. Copeland offers a strikingly generous view of her family and those closest to her who caused pain and confusion, at one point leaving her in destitution at a hotel with five siblings while only in her teens. Now age 31, Copeland demonstrates a remarkable ability to focus on the positive. Although she expresses a responsibility to break through color barriers for aspiring black dancers, her achievements will encourage all those attempting to beat the odds in competitive fields. Similar to Dancing Through It, New York City Ballet principal Jenifer Ringer's account of surviving and, ultimately, thriving in a janus-faced profession, Copeland's story will help young dancers to hold fast to their dreams, remain true to themselves, and avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In this instant New York Times bestseller, Misty Copeland makes history as the only African American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious thirteen-year-old to become a groundbreaking ballerina.
When she discovered ballet, Misty was living in a shabby motel room, struggling with her five siblings for a place to sleep on the floor. A true prodigy, she was dancing en pointe within three months of taking her first dance class and performing professionally in just over a year: a feat unheard of for any classical dancer. But when Misty became caught between the control and comfort she found in the world of ballet and the harsh realities of her own life (culminating in a highly publicized custody battle), she had to choose to embrace both her identity and her dreams, and find the courage to be one of a kind.
Life in Motion is an insider's look at the cutthroat world of professional ballet, as well as a moving story of passion and grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.
About the Author
Misty Copeland made history by becoming the third African-American ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre, the first in decades. A recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts and an inductee into the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame, she currently lives in New York City.andnbsp;Visit her online at MistyCopeland.com.
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