Life in Motion: An Unlikely BallerinaLife in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish she’d been able to write in her own words, but thankfully Misty kept a journal so the ghostwriter was able to capture some pivotal moments in her life. I sped through this book so quickly, captivated, that I had to give it 4 stars. It should inspire many young people!

I had no idea that Misty’s breakthrough as a black ballerina was so late in coming to our society. Until I saw her as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance in 2014, I didn’t even know of her existence, living as I do on the West Coast. But in 2004, when I needed an inspired ballet-teacher character in my novel Cosmic Dancer: An Interdimensional Fantasy, one who taught in the anti-gravity classroom in the celestial worlds my character visits between lifetimes, the character came to my mind in beautiful chocolate skin, dressed in a firey red costume very like Misty’s Firebird! But I never knew about or saw her in that role until I read this biography.

It never occurred to me, a white writer, that my own dark-skinned ballerina–the epitome of dancing in my novel–was anything unusual. (Well, except that she can levitate as high as she wishes and spin midair.) While reading Misty Copeland’s biography, I couldn’t help but wonder if SHE is the one who visited me in my imagination and inspired that character from her own celestial studies, prior to her present incarnation. Don’t laugh! Ms. Copeland’s rapid acceleration in the ballet world is, to me, further proof of reincarnation. She already knew, and merely had to train her new body’s muscle systems. (Okay, “merely” might be inappropriate for the amount of effort that required.) Prodigy? That’s how I spelled reincarnation.

This is a quick-to-read, inspiring book. I can’t wait to see the movie version now in the works. And my heartfelt applause to this wonderful dancer! I hope to see her dance in person one day.

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