Hope in a Ballet Shoe tells the story of Michaela DePrince. Growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, she witnessed atrocities that no child ever should. Her father was killed by rebels and her mother died of famine. Sent to an orphanage, Michaela was mistreated and saw the brutal murder of her favourite teacher.
Then 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.
Michaela DePrince was born in 1995 in Sierra Leone. After the deaths of her parents, she moved to an orphanage from which she was adopted and taken to the US in 1999. Elaine DePrince, her new mother, noticed Michaela's obsession with ballet and allowed her to begin lessons. Michaela 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.