Misty Copeland made history yesterday (June 30), when she was promoted to the highest ranked dancer that you can achieve in ABT. The Kansas City veteran of the American Ballet Theatre became the first African American female to ever be named a “principal dancer.”
Copeland started her career at the unconventional age of 13-years-old at the Boy’s and Girl’s club―a true Cinderella story. Growing up, Copeland lived in a motel room with her single mother; dance was her escape from the disparities of the world. After long hours in the studio and practice every day Copeland was eventually given the opportunity to be a soloist in ABT. 14 years later, she can say that she has completed a goal that seemed impossible―breaking a 75-year-old record at the theatre.
With this accomplishment, the 32-year-old ballet dancer proves that dedication and perseverance can make dreams come true. Misty continues to be an inspiration to those who don’t fit the traditional mold of a ballerina by giving back to her community mentoring young dancers and volunteering in multiple ballet clubs. Holding back tears, Copeland expressed her gratitude for achieving this historical goal:
“My dream has been ABT since I was 13 and to be a principal dancer is reaching those heights. I’m just excited to do more and to continue to grow as an artist and hopefully see more brown dancers come into the company in my lifetime.”
Photo Credit(s): Getty Images
Watch an inspiration video reminiscing on Copeland’s journey as a ballerina: