As the first black female soloist at the American Ballet Theater in 20 years, Misty Copeland has quickly become the poster child for black ballerinas. In addition to being both beautiful and talented, the 30-year old’s come-up is as non traditional as it gets. In a cover story for Net-a-Porter’s The Edit, Copeland reminisces about taking her first ballet lessons at the local Boys and Girls Club when she was 13.
“It was the first thing I ever did just for me. I knew I was committing my life to ballet,”she says.
Since then, the Kansas City native’s hard work has catapulted her to the top of the dance world, something brown girls aren’t encouraged to do.
“I have worked my way from the bottom to soloist – my goal is to set a positive example for minority dancers; to make it easier for them in years to come. It’s getting the idea into people’s heads that ballerinas can have brown skin that is frustrating. There are so many stereotypes.”
Realizing that she gets more attention than most ballerinas, Copeland’s talents have been noticed by the likes of Prince, photographer Bill Cunningham, and former Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld.
Read the rest of the interview over at The Edit.
Photo Credit: The Edit