Misty Copeland’s Life in Motion: An unlikely ballerina
“… [Misty Copeland,] principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre [and]the first African-American woman to hold that distinction…”
Published by: Touchstone 3/4/2014
Genre: Memoir, coming-of-age, autobiography and nonfiction
Misty Copeland’s story is truly one of a kind. It tells of her as a young girl who goes through much emotional affliction and external adversities. With her mom having so many on and off boyfriends, it buries on the fact that her family stability is at risk. Sometimes, her”father”would be abusive and would be utterly mean. On time, he”dragged [misty’s brother]back to the kitchen by his ear…He hit [Misty’s brother] with a frying pan.”(Copeland-49)
In addition to this, Misty struggles with negativity and the need to always be the best. On top of this, her family is very poor, living part of her childhood in a motel, because her mom couldn’t pay rent. A very highly publicized custody battle between her dance teacher and mom was also taken place, when she was trying to emancipate herself away from her mother. Furthermore, while she is introduced to dancing, ballet, she is denigrated by the press and media because of her looks-and even today. For example, “Some bloggers felt that [her]appearance with Prince demeaned ballet.”(Copeland-235)However, she is able to cope and deal with so much.
This book is truly inspirational, because even with so much complications, she is able to maintain her stance. Nothing was able to hinder her determination. Her story truly impacts me profoundly. She reminds me that I need to be content with what I have. Her family went through a load of contretemps;I became aware of the fact that I have a replete amount of things I should be thankful for. Beside this, I learned that I can’t judge people from the outer appearance but need to understand the inside. From the outside, Misty looks very experienced and affluent , but without reading the book, I wouldn’t realize or think about her background and what she went through to get where she is.However, there are times that I would be flustered. Yes, Copeland’s story is something special, but the book itself is something else.
Honestly, I was very disappointed by how confusing the story became. The beginning of the story started very well, but as the story progressed, it started to lose itself. The story began to altered in being very long winded and repetitive. I understood that she had a tumultuous and unstable childhood, but then, she would go on and on about how she wants to be like everyone else and how she is grateful. I found this very repetitive. Maybe she wanted to emphasize but restating it again and again is too tedious. The reader gets bored and the story becomes tiresome. Also, I found it hypocritical because she says she is grateful but then complains about her mom’s can food. This is one thing that wholly befuddled me.
Another thing that really bothers me is the fact that there is so much going on at the same time and it becomes confusing. In the book, she is constantly changing her reactions and it doesn’t add up. It does not make sense that she “loves [her]mom”(Copeland-55)but wants to emancipate fully from her. How can you love someone but not even talk to them to “understand”(C-55)them? How are you mad that your mom cares for you? This is very perplexing because Copeland seems to be going back on her words. It sounds like she is gainsaying her own words and emotions. I don’t know how to feel at some points in the book. In spite of this, I think that with some editing, the book will make more sense and the story’s life will be in more “motion”.