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.
About the Author
Elaine DePrince, her new mother, noticed Michaela's obsession with ballet and allowed her to begin lessons. Michaela went on to study on a scholarship at the Rock School for Dance Education and The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at The American Ballet Theatre, and is now a professional ballerina, who danced principal with The Dance Theatre of Harlem, in guest principal roles in South Africa and The Netherlands, and is now just starting with The Dutch National Ballet.
Michaela featured in the documentary First Position. Speaking out about her experiences, she is recognised throughout the world as an inspirational woman: she featured in Huffington Post's Most Amazing Young People of the Year and Newsweek's 125 Women of Impact. She has spoken at the United Nations for children affected by war and the Women in the World conference.