My thoughts: Despite having no dancing ability, I am a big fan of dance. Arguably the most famous current ballet dancer, and I was eager to read her memoir. Her life story is an inspiring one, but if I read it in a novel I'd dismiss it as unbelievable and hokey. Copeland famously took her first ballet class when she was thirteen, which is really late in ballet years. She discovered ballet in an unlikely place: the Boys and Girls Club. I knew those details, but I didn't realize how many other improbabilities Copeland faced.
Life in Motion is inspiring, but it's also a very sad book. Copeland doesn't shy away from the lingering racism in ballet. She opens up about the complications, financially and otherwise, of her childhood. I knew her story was remarkable, but I didn't realize how many fortunate opportunities she had. While I thoroughly enjoyed Misty's journey, I was equally enchanted with her insight into her current life and what it means to be a professional ballet dancer.
The verdict: I quite enjoyed Life in Motion. Copeland's voice is strong, and her personal story is as fascinating as her unique insight into contemporary ballet. This book will appeal to fans of dance, but it will also appeal to readers drawn to social issues, diversity, and memoirs more generally.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 289 pages
Publication date: March 4, 2014
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Life in Motion from Amazon (Kindle edition.)
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