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Misty Copeland, 29, did not start ballet until she was 13, beginning at a local Boys & Girls Club. To start learning what is usually a lifelong craft at a late age and still achieve national acclaim is a feat in itself. But the Californian’s most prized achievement to date happened in 2007, when she was appointed as a soloist at the famed American Ballet Theater. She is the first African-American soloist at the historic theater in 20 years.
Misty is also making waves in pop culture. Called a muse to music legend Prince, Misty performed onstage during his most recent tour.
Misty Copeland is making history … as an African-American classical ballet dancer who is breaking barriers in the world of the arts. Misty is only the third African-American female soloist since the American Ballet Theater’s founding in 1940. She will be inducted into the Boys & Girls Club National Hall of Fame this spring.
What’s next for Misty?
Recognizing the differences in her own body compared to most ballet dancers, Misty, who is of African, German and Italian descent, told the Huffington Post she is working on dance wear clothing lines specifically for curvy and plus-sized women.
In her own words…
“I think it’s so important to have mentors,” Copeland told a room full of young black girls during a Black Girls Rock! event last year. “It’s just so important to see that it’s possible and to see that someone can make it. Now that I’m here, I can set an example and hopefully make things easier for the next black [ballet] dancer.”
A little-known fact about African-American ballerinas …
There are only a few black female ballerinas of Misty’s stature in the world