Misty Copeland Makes History As ABT’s First Black Principal Dancer

Misty Copeland

Photo Credit: Instagram/@mistyonpointe

This one’s for the books – and the power of thinking positive. Last year, in an interview with the New Yorker, one of our favorite naturalistas Misty Copeland she stated her goal of becoming “the first African-American principal dancer” with the American Ballet Theater.

And, today, the 14-year ABT vet made history by becoming the first black female principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, a title no other black female dancer has received in the company’s 75 years of existence. Copeland started with ABT in 2001 and was promoted to a soloist in 2007. Now, after this morning’s announcement Copeland is the highest ranked dancer at ABT she has paved yet another pathway for many young black dancers.

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Her book “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina” explores her life of chasing her dream despite all odds. From beginning her dancer career at age thirteen, which is considered a late start in the ballet world, to being told she didn’t have the right skin color and being too curvy. Even when she joined ABT, she faced criticism. Now, at the age of 32, she is at the top of her game.

Copeland was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People and is set to star star as the first black “Swan Queen” in the famous dance “Swan Lake” at the Metropolitan Opera. She is also endorsed by top fitness and dance companies such as Under Armour, Capezio, and Bloch and has performed on stage alongside singing sensation Prince, guest judged the hit show “So You Think You Can Dance” and graced the cover of a handful of magazines — amongst many, many other success. And, a movie chronicling her journey is under works.

Copeland has definitely shown what it means to not let what other think is wrong with you stop you from chasing your dreams. Yes, the power of positive thinking and determination is real.

About The Author


Queens native with a "healthy" obsession for all things beauty and Beyoncé.