The Unlikely Ballerina Who Became The First African American Female Principal Dancer With American Ballet Theatre?? Copeland was no early starter, but even that, couldn’t dim her light. Eager to live her dreams she delved into ballet aged 13, surpassing expectations.
Within three months, was dancing en pointe and begun performing professionally in just over a year: a feat unheard of for any classical dancer. At fifteen, she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000.
In 2000 Misty joined ABT’s Studio Company, a tear later she joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet. She shone brightly, in August 2007 she had become the company’s second African American female Soloist and the first in two decades. Yet again in 2014, she made history as the first black woman to perform the lead role of “Odette/Odile” in American Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake during the company’s inaugural tour to Australia.
She kept on pushing and her brilliant career soared even higher, in June 2015, Misty was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history, establishing herself as one of America’s groundbreaking dancers.
Amongst Misty’s many accomplishments is been honoured with the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts, an induction into the Boys & Girls Club National Hall of Fame in May 2012, receiving the “Breakthrough Award” to name but a few She also received the Young, Gifted & Black honor at the 2013 Black Girls Rock! Awards.
In 2014, President Obama appointed Misty to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.
Misty has been featured in CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Vogue, Essence, Ebony, and People Magazine amongst others. ?