cover image Life in Motion: My Story of Adversity and Grace

Life in Motion: My Story of Adversity and Grace

Misty Copeland. Touchstone, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4767-3798-0

The first African-American soloist in the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) of New York City, Copeland was a latecomer to the art and took her first class at age 13.Told in graceful prose, the memoir recounts her quick but singular rise%E2%80%94her struggles with compulsive overeating, racism, injuries, and self-doubt, as well as high points like discovering acceptance in the melting pot of New York, reconnecting with her father, founding her own dance-wear company, and performing with Prince. Copeland offers a strikingly generous view of her family and those closest to her who caused pain and confusion, at one point leaving her in destitution at a hotel with five siblings while only in her teens. Now age 31, Copeland demonstrates a remarkable ability to focus on the positive. Although she expresses a responsibility to break through color barriers for aspiring black dancers, her achievements will encourage all those attempting to beat the odds in competitive fields. Similar to Dancing Through It, New York City Ballet principal Jenifer Ringer's account of surviving and, ultimately, thriving in a janus-faced profession, Copeland's story will help young dancers to hold fast to their dreams, remain true to themselves, and avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism. (Mar.)