Life in Motion by Misty Copeland

This is an inspiring tale of hardship, determination and courage by the young ballerina Misty Copeland.  She tells the story of a troubled and peripatetic childhood with a mother who moved from place to place, a legal battle and a fight against racism.  Finally achieving her dream to be a black soloist with the American Ballet Theatre was a long and hard road.

Luckily, a lovely ballet teacher spotted her talent and even took her home to live with her. Misty's mother fought to get her back, however.  Misty also found other mentors to help her, but it was extremely difficult for an African-American ballerina to achieve a starring role, and coming from a working-class background made this even harder. Before you think that this book might be a bit too miserable, however, be assured that Misty also includes stories of the rather glamorous life that she led in New York, and writes about her professional collaboration with Prince.

She also writes about how she sets an example to young women, and how she helps young African-Americans from poor backgrounds become dancers.  As well as being a great ballerina, she's also very admirable.

This was a traumatic tale - Misty also had lots of injuries that set her back, and she also suffered from a serious lack of confidence in her abilities on several occasions.  However, ballet-lovers will enjoy this well-written autobiography.


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