Hope in a Ballet Shoe: Oprhaned by War, Saved by Ballet
Michaela DePrince, Elaine DePrince
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Hope in a Ballet Shoe tells the story of Michaela DePrince. Growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, she witnesses atrocities that no child ever should. Her father is killed by rebels and her mother dies of famine. Sent to an orphanage, Michaela is mistreated and she sees the brutal murder of her favourite teacher.
Michaela and her best friend are adopted by an American couple and Michaela begins to take dance lessons. But life in the States isn't without difficulties. Unfortunately, tragedy can find its way to Michaela in America, too, and her past can feel like it's haunting her. The world of ballet is a racist one, and Michaela has to fight for a place amongst the ballet elite, hearing the words 'America's not ready for a black girl ballerina.'
And yet... Today, Michaela DePrince is an international ballet star, dancing for The Dutch National Ballet at the age of nineteen.
This is a heart-breaking, inspiring autobiography by a teenager who shows us that, beyond everything, there is always hope for a better future.
absolutely passionate about ballet! Chapter 24 Growing Apart ‘Why don’t you stand up for me? Why do you always side with your new friends?’ Mia cried as we walked home from school one day. ‘Your friends are mean to me! You are mean to me!’ she shrieked as she hobbled with blood pouring from the cut on her knee. When she had fallen on a rock, a group of kids had laughed. ‘My friends are not mean!’ I shouted back at her. ‘You’re the one who’s mean. You ignore them when they try to be nice to
there, and make new ones from all over the East Coast. My first variation was my contemporary, danced to exotic Middle Eastern-style music. My mother had sewn a beautiful scarlet-and-gold brocade and gauze costume, trimmed in multi-coloured crystals. My teacher had wanted me to enter the stage dancing while wearing a thin red veil draped over my face. ‘Can you see through the veil?’ she’d ask me over and over again during rehearsal in her brightly lit studio. ‘It’s perfectly okay,’ I’d
ninety-five children and one caregiver. They had come to Adam and Melissa almost like feral children. With no other experience raising children and with no formal training in child development, Adam and Melissa were at their wits’ ends with the girls. When Adam and Melissa separated, the care and upbringing of Bernice and Jestina proved to be overwhelming, so my parents accepted guardianship of the girls. When I came home from the ABT summer intensive, I struggled to catch up with the
African Mzansi Ballet’s production of Le Corsaire would be my debut performance as a professional ballerina. I had always expected that my debut as a professional would be as part of a corps, so I was bedazzled to be dancing the role of the slave girl, Gulnare, partnered with Andile Ndlovu, a South African dancer. I had wanted to spend all of my time in South Africa perfecting my role. I had danced some of the variations of the other female lead, Medora, but I had never danced the Gulnare
twisting an ankle in a turn or, horror of horrors, forgetting the choreography – these all disappeared when I stepped from behind the curtain and into the life of Gulnare. My entire experience there was enlightening. The prima ballerina in the company taught me by example that it was possible to be on top and still remain genuine and generous. I learned from the very kind director that there was no need for someone in his position to remain aloof and haughty as others often do. And the children