8.0 Editor's Pick
August 2, 2014

“You have the wrong body for Ballet.”

Accept yourself—then love yourself:

Stretching Beauty: Ballerina Misty Copeland on Her Body Struggles.

“For those interested, there’s a documentary about Misty Copeland’s rise through the ABT to first soloist called A Ballerina’s Tale.

It is well worth watching even if you don’t care about ballet.”

New, from a book of photography. All images from imgur or reddit, not this site.

In the upcoming March 2016 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, she’s helped re-create some of the world’s most iconic ballet paintings and sculptures by famous artist Edgar Degas.” <Source

Update: More trail-blazing breaking news: “Misty Copeland Is Promoted to Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater.” 

Update: front page of The NY Times: “Misty Copeland Debuts as Odette/Odile in ‘Swan Lake’”

When Misty Copeland made her New York debut in the double role of Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake,” the most epic role in world ballet, two aspects of the performance on Wednesday afternoon proved marvelous. One: that it all happened successfully. Two: the curtain calls.

Let everyone know henceforth that an African-American ballerina has danced this exalted role with American Ballet Theater at the prestigious Metropolitan Opera House...”

“President Obama recently appointed her as a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. As a ballet dancer, she is such an inspiration to me, as well as a reminder that it is okay that I am short and not stick thin. She also started ballet at 13 years old – which is practically ancient for a ballet dancer to begin training. She’s fantastic!”

misty copeland

Update (June 2015): Misty just debuted in New York in the double role of Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake,” the most epic role in the world of ballet. Click here for more on NYT.

“I will what I want.”

The following five images are via Henry Leutwyler Photography

When you see your Dream: Persevere: Ballerina Misty Copeland in Under Armour. {videos at bottom}

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your application to our ballet academy. Unfortunately you have not been accepted. You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length, and bust. You have the wrong body for ballet, and at 13, you are too old to be considered.

But first: Relephant: A Buddhist view on how to Fall in Love with yourself: “Maitri.”

A Strong Woman follows her Dreams.

“I saw her as the real black swan,” Squire says. “I had to get her story out there.” …

• A young girl who gets into movement by watching a Lifetime movie about gymnast Nadia Comaneci. A girl who, at the age of 13, roughly eight years after those who become pros typically get their start, sheepishly steps onto a basketball court at a Boys & Girls Club for an introductory dance class and, three months later, is called a dance prodigy. A girl who falls in love with ballet, an art that has traditionally included very few people of color.

• A girl who, as she grows into a woman, also grows out of the traditional shape of a ballerina — she has larger breasts, bigger feet and a more muscular leg tone.

And yet, at 24, Misty Copeland became only the second black soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theatre, the most prestigious company in North America.


“It was hard to survive,” Copeland, now 31, says…

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” ~ Marie Curie 

Misty Copeland, soloist for the American Ballet Theatre

She’s beautiful!

“Misty Copeland is only the third African-American soloist at the American Ballet Theater and first in twenty years. If you know anything about me, that’s already grounds for: “you had me at hello.” But then Misty had to go ahead and be an actual prodigy as she stomped on notions of what a ballerina’s body should like, all while being gorgeous and I’m crying.

Misty didn’t even begin dancing until she was 13 years old and by age 18 was hired by the ABT. In 2007, at 25 years old, she was appointed soloist…

…While there’s nothing wrong with being long and willowy, I’m happy to see a different type of body being appreciated in a world that can be notoriously harsh and uniform in its aesthetics.”

A Different kind of Ballet Body.

“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” ~ Lupita Nyong’o 

Ballerina Misty Copeland in new Under Armour ad:

“Misty Copeland’s destiny was not to be a ballerina. But will trumps fate.”

Ballet gave Misty Copeland a different life.


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