There’s a lot of things that scare me in this world: speeding buses, the expanding universe, dance movies. Still, I couldn’t help but be a little bit excited when Deadline reported that New Line Cinema had optioned Life in Motion, Misty Copeland’s bestselling memoir about her life in dance. Copeland, one of the first African-American soloists to perform with the American Ballet Theater, actually has an interesting life story (the dancers I went to college with just complained about ‘dry skin’). Unlike most classically trained ballerinas, Misty didn’t start taking classes until the age of thirteen, and not at a high-paying studio, but at her local Boys & Girls Club. She learned quickly, and soon moved from her mother’s welfare motel into the fancy home of her host family. A custody battle ensued, but Misty rose to the challenge, etc etc, and now she’s a world renowned dancer with amazing legs, thousands of fans, and probably like the best life ever.
It’s a story worth telling for sure, but as Hollywood’s most recent biopics have shown us, good stories don’t always make for good storytelling. I’m especially concerned when writers describe it as the next Blind Side (groan), and when it’s produced by the team behind Step Up (rhetorical groan). Who knows what’ll happen? (Um, I do. It’ll be terrible.) No matter what, she’s still the best.