Tags: misty copeland | american ballet theatre | principal | dancer

Misty Copeland Becomes First Black American Ballet Theatre Female Principal

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Jul 2015 08:54 AM

Misty Copeland has been promoted to principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, making her the first female African-American to hold the title in the 75-year history of the company.

According to USA Today, the Tuesday appointment came just six days after Copeland, 32, debuted as Odette/Odile in a New York production of "Swan Lake."

"I had moments of doubting myself, and wanting to quit, because I didn’t know that there would be a future for an African-American woman to make it to this level," Copeland said at a news conference at the Metropolitan Opera House on Tuesday afternoon, The New York Times reported.

"At the same time, it made me so hungry to push through, to carry the next generation. So it’s not me up here — and I’m constantly saying that — it’s everyone that came before me that got me to this position."

While many Americans might not be familiar with the world of ballet, some may recognize Copeland from the cover of Time magazine, where she was recently named one of the most influential people of 2015. Some may also be familiar with her previous guest-host appearance on the Fox show "So You Think You Can Dance," or her role as a presenter at this year's Tony awards.

Copeland was raised by a single mother in San Pedro, California, where she began dancing at age 13. She landed a position with the American Ballet Theatre in 2000. She was promoted to soloist in 2007.

She is the second black dancer to be a principal at ABT after Desmond Richardson became a principal in 1977.

"We haven't had a ballet dancer who has broken through to popular culture like this since Mikhail Baryshnikov," said Wendy Perron, former editor of Dance Magazine, according to The Associated Press. "And she's going to bring more attention from that world to ballet."

 


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Misty Copeland has been promoted to principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, making her the first female African-American to hold the title in the 75-year history of the company.
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Wednesday, 01 Jul 2015 08:54 AM
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