(PDF DOWNLOAD) Hope in a Ballet Shoe
Orphaned by war, saved by ballet. Growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, Michaela DePrince 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. But there is hope: the Harmattan wind blows a magazine through the orphanage gates. Michaela picks it up and sees a beautiful image of a young woman dancing. One day, she thinks, I want to be this happy. And then Michaela and her best friend are adopted by an American couple and Michaela can take the dance lessons she's dreamed of since finding her picture. 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 is an international ballet star, dancing for The Dutch National Ballet at the age of 19.