Life in Motion

Life in Motion

An Unlikely Ballerina

Book - 2014
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A bestselling and prize-winning 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.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2014.
Edition: First Touchstone hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781476737980
Branch Call Number: 793.3 COPELAND
Characteristics: 278 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Jones, Charisse


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Aug 15, 2020

I purchased this book, and it is an incredible and beautiful book. It may not be suitable for children under 8 though. Very inspiring especially if you love ballet. Highly recommend it!!

Nov 15, 2018

I stumbled across Misty Copeland's memoir at my local library a few weeks ago and decided to borrow it. I knew little to nothing about her background besides the fact that she started ballet later than most professional ballet dances; and that she is the first Black woman to have been promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater. I'll admit that I didn't expect her childhood and her transition into ballet to be as complex as it was. Still, she deserves credit for sticking with it despite the personal trials she's experienced since she started ballet. I really enjoyed her memoir; and I definitely hope to see her perform in person before she retires.

May 23, 2018

Avail at NKC

Mar 09, 2018

As much as I wanted to finish this book as I had read an article about Misty that was quite intriguing, I found it difficult to get into the book as I know nothing of dance and the terminology associated with it. I'll try this book again another time.

Feb 28, 2018

Misty is such a insperation for young dancers like me!! I think the phrasing is beautiful and she shows power in her writing skills. She is the best role modle ever!! I am in awe at how she was able to go en pointe after only 2 monthes of ballet. This is my 6th year and I get my pointe shoes in september!

Aug 29, 2017

a life story, that is easy to read , to inspire.

see how people in our lives, can make us grow, to be a ballerina or someone like you and me.

Misty Copeland dances well, thanks for telling her story so well as well.

Apr 24, 2017

A great book for anyone wanting to know the struggles and the luck that Misty Copeland recieved. This book, I felt like it was really good. The flare inside of her dims and burns even brightly throughout all the things she had to go through.

Oct 02, 2016

I really wanted to like this book because Misty Copeland has such a great story, but I really couldn’t get into this book. The writing wasn’t good, and there didn’t seem to be any true emotion in the book. It’s well-known that Misty tried to become emancipated from her mother when she was a teenager, but Misty really doesn’t give a good explanation for why she did that or what she thought would happen. Even now, she doesn’t seem to take responsibility for that decision at all. There are way too many places where she says something, but doesn’t show or explain it all. For example, she says there was a time she wanted to leave the American Ballet Theatre, but then she turned down other job offers. She doesn’t really offer any explanation. She has a great and inspiring story to tell, but it could have been told a lot better.

Sep 19, 2016

I'm a ballet dancer and a dancer at my school was reading it so I decided to reserve it! Really looking forward to reading this book!

ArapahoeBridget Aug 23, 2016

Quick, interesting read, with great details about ballet and Copeland's childhood. I love reading about dancers, and this was really satisfying with a small handful of photos included. Definitely pick this up if you're a ballet fan!

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Feb 28, 2018

Shelbyville thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Oct 09, 2016

black_pony_62 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jul 20, 2015

brianne_9 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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Nov 15, 2018

Now that it was real, after fighting so hard for so long, through years of doubt, I finally believed that I deserved this.


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