Monday, June 14, 2021

Misty Copeland Named 1st Black Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre

Misty Copeland attends the American Ballet Theatre's 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Spring Gala at The Metropolitan Opera House on May 18, 2015 in New York City
Misty Copeland attends the American Ballet Theatre’s 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Spring Gala at The Metropolitan Opera House on May 18, 2015 in New York City

*History was made Monday at New York’s prestigious American Ballet Theater.

Misty Copeland, who has become a celebrity in her own right, with a best-selling memoir, an indelible Under Armor ad and a Time magazine cover to her name, has been named principal dancer by the American Ballet Theater, becoming the first African-American ballet dancer to hold the position in the company’s 75-year history.

At a company meeting Tuesday, Copeland’s promotion from soloist was announced by Kevin McKenzie, American Ballet Theater‘s artistic director.

Copeland already made history this year when she became the first African-American dancer to perform “Swan Lake” with the company at the Met.

Misty Copeland as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake.
Misty Copeland as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake.

In January, she told us that seeing more people of color in her field is an immediate goal: “To see just more diversity in every aspect of the art form, to see more diversity on the stage, in the audiences, in the boardrooms, on the artistic staff, and for it to be reaching a younger generation. …I will be pushing the diversity issue for as long as I live.”

Below, Copeland tells us about her early attraction to dance, how her love for Mariah Carey factored into her development and what she thought of her guest judging duties on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance”:

Copeland appeared last month in the PBS documentary “American Ballet Theatre: A History.” The full film is currently streaming on the “American Masters” website and through PBS channels on OTT providers. It will be released on DVD July 14. Watch the trailer below:

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1 COMMENT

  1. Yay! Kudos. Please keep defying stereotypes and making the world proud. We need more positive influences like this lady.

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