Misty Copeland Makes History as ABT's First Black Principal Ballerina

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Ballerina superstar Misty Copeland's journey has been one of determination, fearlessness and grace. And today, it got even sweeter. The ballet prodigy became the first black female principal dancer in the 75-year-history of the American Ballet Theater, the renowned dance company announced Tuesday.

"My goal has always been to be a principal dancer with ABT," Misty told NPR last year. She echoed that same sentiment in her book, "Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina," writing, "My fears are that it could be another two decades before another black woman is in the position that I hold with an elite ballet company. That if I don't rise to principal, people will feel I have failed them."

A video posted by Misty Copeland (@mistyonpointe) on

It's an honor that is so well-deserved. While most of the company's dancers start practicing ballet at a very young age, Misty didn't begin taking ballet classes until she was 13, when she took a free class at a Boys & Girls Club taught by San Pedro City Ballet's Cindy Bradley, according to NPR.

But, she never let that hold her back. Misty quickly blew Cindy (and everyone else) away. So much so, that the dance teacher gave her a full scholarship to her school and also brought her into her home.

Misty's perservance and talent eventually brought her to the American Ballet Theater on full scholarship at the Company's Summer Intensive. She later joined the Company in September 2000 and joined the main company as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001. She was appointed a soloist in August 2007, and earlier this month made history when she became the first African American ballerina to star as Odette and Odile in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake with the ABT.
If you've seen even a video clip of Misty dance, it is tough to take your eyes off of her. The way she dances is just magical. But, it's not only her talent that inspires others. The ballerina's positive spirit, unwavering determination and quest to inspire others are what really make her radiate. Words can't express how exciting it is see her rise to the top. Way to go Misty!


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