Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina

Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina

by Misty Copeland
4.7 17


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Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland

Determination meets dance in this memoir by the history-making ballerina.

In this instant New York Times bestseller, Misty Copeland makes history, telling the story of her journey to become the first African-American principal ballerina at 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, 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476737980
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 03/04/2014
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 233,234
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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. Visit her online at

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Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Books4Tomorrow More than 1 year ago
Before reading this memoir, I had no idea who Misty Copeland is. Now I do. In fact, not having ever had the desire to take ballet lessons or become a ballerina, I had no idea that the world of ballet favors white ballerinas. Now I do.  Not knowing who Misty Copeland is, I was attracted to this book by its synopsis. It is about an African American ballerina struggling against adversity. That was enough to get me interested in reading it. Moreover, she comes from an impoverished background which made me want to read it so much more, because I’m a sucker for true-life stories where people overcome the odds to make something of themselves. Yes, folks, I love happy endings. Misty’s story captivated me from the start, and touched me deeply. Growing up in a family where you have to battle to be heard and noticed, especially a family that doesn’t settle down in one place for too long, is no easy feat. But Misty gained a lot of supporters on her way to becoming the American Ballet Theatre’s third black soloist in thirty years. From the start she draws you into her life story and makes you feel part of her journey in making her dream become a reality. Not once does she hold back on the details that paint her mother in a less favorable light, but instead she opens up her heart to the reader and begs you to understand that her struggles, though less, have not yet ended. Endurance and the loving support of her family and friends are what helped her to achieve her goals and realize her dreams, and she makes the reader privy to the innermost details of her life every step of the way. At the end of Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina I felt I knew and understood Misty Copeland, and I admire her for her perseverance. I now also understand a little bit more of the world of ballet and the unforgiving competitiveness amongst ballerinas. What I take away from this memoir is that being a ballerina takes an enormous amount of hard work and dedication. All in all this was a really great read that kept me up way past my bedtime.  
Gardenseed More than 1 year ago
If you like ballet, this is an utterly absorbing hard-to-put-down page turner. We get a glimpse of what it is like to be a dancer in a world renowned ballet company, the hardships and pain, as well as the glory. We are allowed to see how it feels to work one's heart out, day after day, year after year, and not get a role because your skin is darker than that of the other dancers.  Misty could have become bitter, but instead she remained strong and became stronger. She proved that she could be a ballerina and in telling her story she lifts up her readers.  Thank you, Misty Copeland!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Misty copeland inspires me. She is an awesome dancer who dremtp of being one. She rocks. Do you agree? If so, on your headline write,#MISTYCOPELANDROCKS! Thanks! -Jasmine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Misty shares her story of starting out late (for ballet) having doubt and fighting through her own insecurities. Her experiences and acheivements along the way, make you cheer for her, even as you shed a tear for her upbringing. As i raise my own aspiring ballerina, i am happy to read her story to understand some of the world of dance. And mostly, I'm glad that Misty has so lovingly shared her story and paved the path for the young girls growing up in this world and looking to her story to know that they, too, can make their dreams come true.
E_Ting_Groceries More than 1 year ago
Misty Copeland, an Unlikely Ballerina is a great story about a girl coming late into the ballet world, overcoming hardships and following her dreams. Misty, "14",started taking ballet at her local Boys and Girls Club after school. After living in a motel with her mom and five other brothers and sisters her dance teacher Cindy took Misty to live at her house. This story shows the acts of courageous Misty not "built" for the dance world, small and black, making it so far in her career. She shares her memories of always having dance a part of her life but never imagining one day she would become the first African American women to be a soloist for the American Ballet Theatre. As a young dancer myself, I enjoyed reading this book and couldn't put it down till I was done. It taught me to never give up and always try my best. "Everyday is a performance" a quote from Misty's book made me think about my life dancing and how I work hard everyday to become the best possible dancer I could be. I recommend this book to not only dancers but everybody who enjoys reading inspirational stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Misty Copeland has brought my interest in ballet to another level. In fact I am a ballerina. Her book has inspired me so much. I think that if I did not read her book I would not know who she was. After hearing that she became Pricipal dancer at ABT(american ballet theatre) really made me happy. This is a great book to read as a young dancer or just a have to read. Her story is just beautiful.
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That really sums it up. Her writin is subjective. However, her honest detailing of the ballet world is great and I applaud her for her perserverance in her pofession.
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