A bestselling and prizewinning memoir by African American ballerina Misty Copeland, Life in Motion is the vividly told story of her journey to the world-class American Ballet Theatre—and delves into the harrowing family conflicts that nearly drove her away from ballet as a thirteen-year-old prodigy.
Determination meets dance in this New York Times bestselling memoir by the history-making ballerina Misty Copeland, recounting the story of her journey to become the first African-American principal ballerina at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. When she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, underprivileged, and anxious thirteen-year-old to become one of America’s most groundbreaking dancers . A true prodigy, she was attempting in months roles that take most dancers years to master. 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, she had to choose to embrace both her identity and her dreams, and find the courage to be one of a kind.
With an insider’s passion, Misty opens a window into the life of an artist who lives life center stage, from behind the scenes at her first classes to her triumphant roles in some of the world’s most iconic ballets. A sensational memoir as “sensitive” and “clear-eyed” (The Washington Post) as her dancing, Life in Motion is a story of passion, identity and 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.
Loved this autobiography!!!
It's refreshing to read an autobiography that doesn't bash people whose choices didn't yield the best results. It reminds me that parents aren't perfect: parents do the best the can with what they have at that time. In this instance, a child (whose childhood circumstances aren't the best) becomes successful, living her best life. I believe this is a good book for black and brown girls to read (regardless of their interest in ballet) that your circumstances don't keep you from achieving goals. You have to be willing to work hard, no matter what.
I am not a dancer but I love stories in which the underdog wins. I feel like I know Misty Copeland as a friend after reading this book. She shares so details about her life that leave her image vulnerable, real, & stronger than an unblemished portrayal would have been. I recommend this story for any artist. As an added bonus I am now proud of the way my knees bend backward when I stand.
Misty Copeland is an inspiration to everyone. And, to little, aspiring ballerinas, she is their role model, their fairy queen, and nurturer. Now, she has become a principal dancer with ABT, long overdue, but a great milestone. She is one of the great dancers, for all time. I loved her book, I love her.