Misty Copeland’s Achievement and the Future of Ballet


Longreads

“My goal is to become the first African-American principal dancer with A.B.T.”

-That’s Misty Copeland, in a 2014 profile in The New Yorker. She was promoted on June 30, becoming the first African-American female principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater’s 75-year history.

Copeland got her start in ballet when she was 13:

Cantine had a background in classical dance, and, after working with Misty for a short time she suggested that she try the ballet class at the Boys & Girls Club. “I wasn’t excited by the idea of being with people I didn’t know, and though I loved movement, I had no particular feelings about ballet,” Copeland said. “But I didn’t want to displease Liz.”

Cindy Bradley, who taught the class, told me, “I remember putting my hand on her foot, putting it into a tendu pointe, and she was definitely able to go into that…

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