Ok around the office we’ve been talking about girl crushes. Mine is definitely Mist Copeland in fact if I could be anyone in the world for a day it would be her. She is just the most gorgeous being and the thought of flying around a dance floor with all that power, grace and technical skill seems like it must be the most liberating experience. Love love love.
For those who don’t know Misty Copland is a ballet force to be reckoned with and she just became the first African-American woman to be named a principal dancer in the 75-year history of American Ballet Theater.
American Ballet Theater in New York is the most prestigious Ballet Company in the world.
In the past she has danced leading roles with Ballet Theater and another of other leading ballet companies. She toured with the recording artist Prince, and has appeared in multiple ads, TV shows and written a best selling memoir. One thing had eluded her though, the role of principal dancer, and now she has achieved the height of her field. She is such an inspiration. African Americans are historically under represented in the ballet world.
“This is for the little brown girls,” she wrote in the memoir of her career-making lead role in Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” at the Met.
Copeland has a classic American rags to riches success story. At the ancient (in dance years) age of 13, she was sleeping with her 5 siblings and struggling single mother, on the floor of a California motel room when a chance Boys and Girls Club dance class brought her talents into view.
When her mother decided to break off Misty’s dance training, her dance teacher intervened. The young dancer was forced into a wrenching choice between the family and the rarefied world of ballet.
She chose dance and with the support of an adoptive family had to fight a tangled custody battle to continue dancing.
When she joined ABT, she was the only black female in a troupe of 80. At only 5’2’’ this tiny dancer is larger than life.
All Hail Misty Copeland!