Life in Motion

An Unlikely Ballerina

Life in Motion

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.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476737980 | 
  • March 2014

Video

The Story behind Ballerina Misty Copeland's Bestselling Memoir

Go Behind the Book with Megan Reid, Misty Copeland’s editor, to learn what inspired her to publish Misty Copeland’s bestselling memoir 'Life in Motion' and how she made it happen.

Read an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Life in Motion includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Misty Copeland. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

When thirteen-year-old Misty Copeland first walks into a ballet class at the Boys and Girls Club in San Pedro, California, she has no idea that this will change her world. Her chaotic home life, filled with five siblings and her mother’s changing husbands and boyfriends, is in stark contrast to the control, beauty, and grace Misty experiences in ballet. A seeming ugly duckling, with a small head, sloping shoulders, and big feet, Misty learns that she has the ideal body for ballet. She has the uncanny ability to copy complex steps perfectly. Life in Motion is Misty’s personal account of her journey to become the first African American soloist at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in more than twenty years. Misty relates the challenges she faced, from living on food stamps to a bitter, highly publicized custody battle between her mother and her dance teacher. Through it all, Misty remains true to herself and committed to her goal. Her remarkable story will inspire anyone struggling against seem see more

About the Author

Misty Copeland

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 MistyCopeland.com.

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