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review 2017-03-23 00:02
For fans or people looking for a general introduction.
Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You - Misty Copeland

I'm somewhat familiar with Misty Copeland after reading her autobiography, watching a documentary on her (have never seen her perform though), etc. I was curious to see what this book was about since she told her life story before. What could be new here?


Turns out she jumped on the fitness/book writing trend among celebrities/well-known figures. Copeland takes the reader through the story of her life as well as expanding on exercise, diet, meditation, recipes, etc. There are pictures of her performing and posing as well as how to perform the various exercises, motivational tips and more.


I liked the book but I figured it wasn't going to be something that I'd want to keep or really read in-depth. Her story and background was already known to me so that information was a bit repetitive. And while I like the concept I could have used a few less photos of her eating or performing and more of the exercises she was doing. 


Still, it's a nice book for fans of Copeland or aspiring ballerinas. I don't know how effective or useful her tips for exercising and diets are but it would probably make a great gift. I borrowed this from the library as it's out now and would recommend you do the same to see if it's really for you.

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review 2015-11-17 01:13
Pretty good read about a ground-breaking ballerina
By Misty Copeland Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina (First Edition) - Misty Copeland

I had seen Misty Copeland mentioned here and there but I forgot what it was that compelled me to pick up her book. I thought her story was very intriguing. Although I only had a passing interest in ballet as a child (I took lessons for a few months but it was clear I had no talent for it, had a college friend who was a minor ballerina in a company), Copeland's story sounded very compelling.


It's her life and times from her childhood to dance. From living in relatively unstable circumstances (her mother had multiple marriages and multiple children form those relationships and the family moved every few years when their mom found someone new) to being "discovered" as a ballerina to her emancipation battle and then onto her career and success. She might seem "young" to write an autobiography but it's clear her life is very different from other people who might have been in her position or even her fellow ballerinas.


I was surprised how much I liked it. I think I remember reading somewhere it felt like it was aimed towards young adults, and I agree with that. The writing is not exactly page-turning (and the ballet stuff sometimes made me bored as heck). I also often get the sense that Copeland might be restraining herself. For example, when she talks about the emancipation battle her mother waged with her then-guardian/teacher, Copeland talks about how she would not see her guardian/teacher for nearly 10 years, even though she would acknowledge throughout the book that she had learned a lot and had a stable household with Cindy.


It felt like there was a lot more to the custody/emancipation battle than what has been reported or what was in the book. I respect that Copeland probably needed to be discreet considering most, if not all the people who appear are likely still alive. But it just seems like her relationship ended in such a sad way that makes me a bit suspicious of both Copeland's mother and Cindy and Patrick Bradley in their motivations towards the author.


But I really enjoyed her thoughts and impressions as a ballerina. Being one of the few (if not only) black ballerinas (or ballerina of color) probably had an effect on her. I wonder if there were more/other ways her skin color affected how she was perceived, considered for parts, received in reviews, etc. However I really enjoyed reading her ascent to becoming a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre. As I wrote, some of the ballet jargon, company names, etc. aren't interesting, but an aspiring dancer might like it.


I'm glad I read it, but I would have been happier if I borrowed it from the library instead. It would make a great gift for anyone who is considering following in Misty's footsteps or finds her story interesting. And while some of the topics are a bit heavy (she came from a relatively unstable family background, her mom reported Copeland missing to the police as part of the custody battle, racism in the ballet/theater world), it's not painfully detailed: the author points out all her siblings have gone on to be relatively successful in their own ways, and that it was remarkable none of them have gone to jail or ended up doing drugs, she seems to recognize what she has gone through and is mostly at peace with it, etc.


I'd say a teenager or even a really interested pre-teen might really like her book if you are wondering if it's suitable for younger audiences. I'd recommend it.

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review 2015-08-22 22:48
Book 70/100: Firebird - Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird
Firebird - Misty Copeland,Christopher Myers

Picked this book up for its gorgeous collage art. The images are so bright and vibrant, especially the backgrounds, and you can get lost picking out the different textures and patterns. The text is nice as well, connecting Misty Copeland with a young, black ballerina hopeful, for some exposure to the rare diversity in ballet. Hopefully it will become less rare over time.

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review 2015-03-08 16:46
Review: Life in Motion
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina - Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland was raised in poverty, at one point living in a motel and sleeping on the living room floor with her siblings. Forced to move as her mother went from man to man, the only constant in her life came when she started to dance and realized her dream to become a ballerina. LIFE IN MOTION is a "rags to riches" type story, concentrating mainly on Misty's earlier years and her goal to become a classical ballerina. While the last 1/3 of the book talks about her actual experiences with ABT (American Ballet Theatre), this is less of a story about her actually as a dancer, and more of her struggle to become one.

While I found her story interesting and inspiring, in some cases I was a little frustrated by the "oh woe is me" attitude in the book. Yes, she was poor... but she had a school teacher take interest in her, who paid for her ballet supplies for many years. When her ballet teacher Cindy saw that she was living in a motel, she was taken to live with Cindy and Cindy's family, where she resided for two years with essentially everything she needed provided to her. When Misty decided to go back to her mother, it was - in the end - her own decision... she could have gone through the emancipation process but decided not to, but then resented the fact that she had to go back and live at home. She had the opportunity to start with ABT the beginning of her senior year at high school, but it was her choice to stay at home another year and start after graduating.

There is also a lot of emphasis in the book on how racist the ballet world is, but considering that Misty managed to get scholarships for just about everything, was invited to join ABT before she even graduated high school, and was encouraged and given extra training by ballet teaches in multiple companies, I don't see the racism. Misty was a prodigy and was treated special because of that, regardless of her skin color. While I do admit that being black may make it more difficult to rise in the white-dominated world of ballet, Misty seems to have done well for herself and it doesn't seem to be the struggle she makes it out to be.


Source: www.amazon.com/review/R3NPBZ3WSVEYJB
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text 2014-05-25 03:47
Reading Roundup
Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass) - Sarah J. Maas
A Mango-Shaped Space - Wendy Mass
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina - Misty Copeland
Airborn - Kenneth Oppel

Reading away as usual, but not feeling inspired to review anything. 


In the last week or so, I've finished


Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Crown of Midnight by Sara J. Maas

A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mas

Life in Motion by Misty Copeland


And started:

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel


I'm off to read.

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