Misty Copeland is the first African American ballet principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. She is a great ballet dancer at one of the greatest dance companies in the world!
Copeland was born on September 10, 1982. She started dancing when she was thirteen years old in middle school. It is very late to start dancing. Most ballerinas “start as young as three years old,” says Lauren Duchene, a ballet teacher in Oregon. Copeland’s teacher told her to start in a ballet class at the Boys and Girls Club, according to Biography.com.
She faced a lot of challenges. Copeland’s mom let her move with her teacher’s family to help her career. But later, her mom had a fight with her teacher because she didn’t want her to stay with the teacher and be a ballerina. Copeland didn’t care. She still danced in ballets like The Nutcracker.
She had to practice and train two whole hours or more every single day. They rehearsed for hours after their class and she had a lot of injuries.
When Copeland dances, she dances with pointe shoes. “In ballet a professional female dancer wears pointe shoes to give an ethereal quality to the ballet dancing,” says Duchene. She says that pointe shoes “make us look as if the dancer is levitating and opposing gravity. They take extra practice and strength but can also accentuate the lines she creates with her body in ballet steps and positions.”
Copeland is the best ballerina in the galaxy, no, the universe, because she never stopped dancing even though her mom said, “No!”