Celebrity Ballerina Misty Copeland Named First Black Female Principal Dancer at ABT

Shamarie By Shamarie, 1st Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Entertainment

Misty Copeland, the Missouri-born ballerina who has become a forceful voice for diversity in ballet was named principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre on Tuesday.

Misty Copeland Makes History

“Misty, take a bow,” Kevin McKenzie, American Ballet Theatre’s artistic director, said to Misty Copeland during a morning rehearsal.

In a historic move, the American Ballet Theatre promoted Misty Copeland, 32, to principal dancer on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, that made her the first African-American woman to rise to the position in the company’s 75-year history. The moment was very emotional for Misty Copeland as she burst into tears of joy. She has been with the prestigious group for fourteen years, eight of those years as a soloist. A fellow dancer congratulated Misty Copeland with a warm hug.

“I’m just so honored, so extremely honored to be a principal dancer, to be an African-American and to be in this position,” Misty Copeland said before Tuesday night’s American Ballet performance of La Bayadère at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center.

The American Ballet Theatre announced the promotion six days after Copeland made her New York debut in the role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, one of the most important roles in a ballerina's repertoire. The emotional performance ended with Copeland being greeted onstage by trailblazing black ballerinas of earlier generations.

Misty Copeland has become a big celebrity over the past several years, achieving a pop culture status that is very rare for a ballet dancer. She appeared on the cover of Time magazine as one of the most influential figures of 2015, and wrote both a children's book and a best-selling memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, in which she recounted the challenges she faced on the road to her hard-won perch in ballet — and which has been optioned for a movie. She also was the subject of a documentary at this year's Tribeca Film Festival called A Ballerina's Tale. Misty Copeland was featured on 60 Minutes in a segment with correspondent Bill Whitaker and was a presenter at the 69th Tony Awards.

Misty Copeland is of African American, German American, and Italian American descent. She is the youngest of Sylvia DelaCerna's four children from her second marriage. She also has two younger half-siblings.

Congratulations, Misty Copeland! Thank you for being an inspiration to little girls around the world. You are amazing!!!


American Ballet Theater, Culture, Misty Copeland

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author avatar Shamarie
I am a passionate writer from Harlem, New York. My expertise is creative writing and poetry. I enjoy expressing myself freely on paper and sharing my ideas with the world.

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author avatar Shamarie
2nd Jul 2015 (#)

Thanks for the moderation, Mark!!!

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author avatar Kingwell
2nd Jul 2015 (#)

Good job my friend and Congratulations to Misty - we have come a long way. Blessings.

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