Beautiful ballerina, Misty Copeland made history with the American Ballet Theatre as their first Black principal dancer. The American Ballet Theatre has been around for 75 years and this is the company’s highest honor.
Before this well-deserved promotion, the 38-year-old ballerina was only the third African-American woman to ever achieve the rank of soloist in the American Ballet Theater company’s history.
She is also the first-ever ballerina to be endorsed by the fitness clothing company Under Armour, has danced for the likes of Prince and other music royalty, and now, with the release of her memoir, Life in Motion, she’s also an author.
Misty Copeland Faced Rejection on Her Journey
But it wasn’t always glitz and glamour for the ballerina.
There were so many who told her “no” or tried to derail her from her passion.
Some even said that her attributes, being “curvy AND Black” would go against her in the world of ballet. That led to being unsure about herself and her body.
Copeland is not built like a ‘typical’ ballerina. She is shorter, more busty and — like her counterparts Serena Williams in tennis and Simone Biles in gymnastics — visibly muscular.
“As an adult, I was told that I didn’t have the right skin color… I was too muscular. I was too curvy. My breasts were too big. I was too short.” — Misty Copeland
Copeland is a true departure from the traditional image of a ballet dancer as fair-skinned, tall and lithe, so she carved her own path.