NEW BOOK: ‘Taking Flight’ by Michaela DePrince #SierraLeone

book-michaela‘Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina’ is the unprecedented memoir of teenage ballet sensation Michaela DePrince. The book retells DePrince’s life story from her early years in war-torn Sierra Leone to her current role as star ballerina with the Dutch National Ballet.


Born Mabinty Bangura 19 years ago in Sierra Leone, Michaela DePrince was orphaned from the age of three after her father was shot by rebels during the civil war and her mother starved to death shortly after. In 1999 the DePrinces, a couple from New Jersey, adopted Michaela and brought her to New Jersey. The book documents Micheala’s journey to the top.


The extraordinary memoir of Michaela DePrince, a young dancer who escaped war-torn Sierra Leone for the rarefied heights of American ballet.

Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a “devil child” for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life.

At the age of four, Michaela was adopted by an American family, who encouraged her love of dancing and enrolled her in classes. She went on to study at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre and is now the youngest principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. She has appeared in the ballet documentary First Position, as well as on Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America, and Nightline.

In this engaging, moving, and unforgettable memoir, Michaela shares her dramatic journey from an orphan in West Africa to becoming one of ballet’s most exciting rising stars.


The book is available to purchase from Amazon. Click here to purchase.


Image Source: © Jade Young

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