What We’re Reading: Life in Motion

Life in Motion an unlikely ballerina by misty copeland book cover

Available at the Main Campus Library (GV 1785 .C654 A3 2014)

This book was read by Courtney Bippley, a Reference Librarian at the Main Campus Library.

Genre: Memoir
#ReadGreatThings2018 Categor(ies): A memoir & A book about or that features sports

Misty Copeland is the first African-American Principal Dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. She started dancing at 13 years old, far older than most ballerinas, and overcame all kinds of adversity to become an amazing artist and role model. 

Misty Copeland recreating a Degas painting.

Why did you choose to read this book?

It fits two #ReadGreatThings2018 categories (memoir and sports since ballet definitely counts as a sport). And, I admire Misty Copeland. I like to dance myself (though I make no claim to be good at it) and so reading the memoir of a famous dancer was appealing.

What did you like about it?

I really liked that she manages to be humble while also acknowledging that she was a prodigy. Not everyone can make it to the big leagues when they don’t start dancing until 13. She has real, raw talent, but isn’t arrogant about it.  Nor does she shy away from it.

Was there anything noteworthy about the book?

She is remarkable kind to people who have, inadvertently or mistakenly, tried to hold her back from her career as a ballerina. Far more kind and understanding than I would be in her place.

What feeling did the book leave you with?

I felt like I knew Misty Copeland as a person after I finished this book. I knew her challenges, her triumphs, the things she is afraid of, and her personal goals.

Who would you recommend the book to?

Anyone who is interested in ballet or dance in general. Along with anyone who enjoys reading about ground-breaking African American women. Which, who wouldn’t? So, basically everyone.

What would you pair this book with? 

This book would go well with a barre workout class so you can truly appreciate how hard ballet is on your body. I mean, look at this. I didn’t even know the human body could bend that way.

Misty Copeland stretched beyond conceivable limits.

About Courtney Bippley

Courtney is a Reference Librarian at the Main Campus Library. Her favorite genres are fantasy and science fiction. She loves dogs, coffee, and dancing.