“You have the wrong body for Ballet.”

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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:57e2a348130000930639d88557e2a39f1800002f00316215

57e2a3801b00002e00ef128d 57e2a348130000930639d885 57e2a39f1800002f00316215

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 a 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 world of ballet. Click here for more on NYT.

“I will what I want.”


The following five images are via Henry Leutwyler Photography

via Henry Leutwyler Photography

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

via Henry Leutwyler Photography


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.

misty ballet
via Henry Leutwyler Photography
bad bitch misty copeland
via Henry Leutwyler Photography
via Henry Leutwyler Photography

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 

bad bitch misty copeland

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.

Her story in her words:

Bonus: Yoga & Meditation vs. Eating Disorders: 


Relephant reads:

Dance with Ghosts—Yoga, Ballet, Poetry = wow.

Once a Dancer.

Ballet & Yoga: How I finally learned to Love my Body. ~ Cassandra Smith

The Washington Ballet’s hardest moves—in Slow Motion.

Quite Possibly One Of The Coolest Yoga Videos Ever.

5 Myths About Your Body. ~ Sarah Warren

Wow! Bendi-Girls of Ballet. {Video}

“The Only Black Girl in the Yoga Class.”

Sexuality can be a part of an Enlightened Life:

Malidoma Some:

is a new feature on Elephant Journal—enabling you to instantly share your mindful ideas, photos, art, YouTube videos/Instagram links & writings with our 5 million readers. Try it Now.

Write Now

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28 Responses to ““You have the wrong body for Ballet.””

  1. Claire B. says:

    This is so amazing! Thank you for the story.

  2. elephantjournal says:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
    ~ Marianne Williamson
    Like · Reply · Commented on by Waylon Lewis · 2 minutes ago

    Jamie Wood I've been an admirer of Misty and her transformative performances for quite a while now… It's great to see that she is becoming a role model of success in the face of low odds for young girls and women everywhere, not just in the dance world. Thanks, Elephant, for bringing this amazing woman to an even larger audience.
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 4 hours ago

    Elephant Journal "No matter where you're from, your dreams are valid." ~ Lupita Nyong'o
    Like · Reply · 32 · Commented on by Waylon Lewis · 9 hours ago

    Kim Ramsey When I was ten, I was told I have the wrong lips for flute. Apparently, I have trombone lips.
    Unlike · Reply · 18 · 10 hours ago

    Mykel Houston You are so awesome for sharing! I'm sorry and don't mean to be rude because I don't know if you're serious or not but I giggled. That is the cutest funniest thing I ever heard. Sorry again if you're being serious. I have no idea what lips people should have to play instruments.
    Unlike · 3 · 7 hours ago
    Elephant Journal

    Rebecca Taylor I was told the same thing about gymnastics. "Too much chest (as I got older)" "Too much muscle" Too much muscle to do something athletic? Ridiculous.
    Unlike · Reply · 14 · 10 hours ago

    Aubrey Helm As a 6'2'' white female, I also remember being told I have the wrong body for ballet. "Too big."
    Unlike · Reply · 14 · 10 hours ago

    Heather Mericle-Kornfuehrer Do we have to see her nipples though?
    Like · Reply · 10 · about an hour ago

    Brynne Holt I'm thinking, they're showing that because her breasts are one of the reasons they say she doesn't have the right body for ballet.
    Like · 5 minutes ago
    Elephant Journal

    Wes Lebo I love this story!
    Unlike · Reply · 4 · 10 hours ago

    Lizzie Briggs Great story, not sure why there is the need for a see through leotard, surely her dance skills are what should be focused on.
    Like · Reply · 6 · 7 hours ago

    Elephant Journal You could ask her. Many of her photos are beautiful, many are powerful, many are inspiring. We can look at our own reactions to her and others and our own body, too. Did you watch her videos? Do you have reactions to those? I woke up this morning thinking about the second of two interviews that we posted–she's inspiring. Focus on all of her, don't just pick out what you do or don't like. I think her sexuality, as yours and mine, is part of who we are. As is dealing with others' perceptions of us.
    Like · Commented on by Waylon Lewis · 4 minutes ago · Edited
    Elephant Journal

    Maryin Om Shanti Also had the /wrong body/ for ballet – too tall. So was encouraged to take up Spanish dancing but I was not interested as they're very different in style.
    Unlike · Reply · 3 · 10 hours ago

    • candice says:

      We have to see her nipples because they are a part of the amazing art that is her entire body. We have to witness the "see through leotard " because it exposes the muscle and the sinew that makes up the lines that is the art that she makes with her body. She is art, she is the emotion that is evoked from the most perfect painting or the sweetest combination of sounds. You cannot fully appreciate a song without the bass notes and you cannot appreciate the Mona Lisa without the highlights and the lowlights. she is art. She is beauty. She is awe inducing. Every Single part of her God given being is amazing. You don't have to see her nipples, or her curves, or her sexuality, but you may, respectfully, have the honor of having seen such art, personified, if you wish to.

    • Shannon says:

      The first quote was actually by Nelson Mandela.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Aja Schieman I was told the same thing, I loved dancing the ballet.
    Unlike · Reply · 3 · 10 hours ago

    Shante May Simpkins Why are some people offended by the human body? Everyone has nipples. Even men even though they don't need them…
    Like · Reply · 3 · 59 minutes ago

    Helen Tatsios her perfection blinds me. shes just too good.
    Like · Reply · 3 · 6 hours ago

    Cheryl M. Kimberley I have the same problem, my body and ballet just are not made for each other!
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 10 hours ago

    Adam Crandall Did Cosmo Kramer take this picture? Thanks for sharing Karen Edmundson.
    Like · Reply · 2 · about an hour ago

    Peter Macaluso Seems like the ballet has caught up! Everyone give the rich white assholes a cookie! Its just like Tiger Woods and golf! Maye in another twenty years another person of color will give us reason to feel good again!
    Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hours ago

    Rachel Pecoraro Just because they are white and/or have money doesn't give you a right to hate them on principle. I know plenty of "rich white assholes" who are great people and have helped lots of people in need. Guess I should be able to hate you based on your race and post that on fb. #doublestandard #thinkbeforeyoupost
    Like · 1 · 54 minutes ago
    Elephant Journal

    Einar Rasmussen She defiantly looks more like a woman, and less like a teenage boy, than any other female ballet dancer I have ever seen. Having a martial arts background myself, Copeland's grace and beauty on stage is more aesthetically pleasing to me, than any other ballet dancing I have witnessed. Perhaps the classic ballet suffers from 'inbreeding', in that "this is the way it's always been, this is how it always will be". It is good that someone has the courage, strength and will, to brake the mold, and thereby advance the art.
    Like · Reply · 2 · 6 hours ago

    Ashley Jean What a beautiful woman!
    Like · Reply · 2 · 7 hours ago

    Dean Robinson Why do women ever buy into the stereotypes? These women are awesome; time to break the stereotypes!
    Like · Reply · 2 · 8 hours ago

    Anna Robinson Unfortunately for ballerinas we buy into it because this is what we are told by the judges… Those that accept us into dance schools etc… And we are too young to fight back (I was only 11) so we end up believing their crap
    Unlike · 4 · 8 hours ago

  4. elephantjournal says:

    Dean Robinson Ballet dancers are some of the greatest athletes on the planet! I dated a woman that had been a professional ballerina when I was in my 20s; her injuries and workouts would rival any pro football player. I have great respect for dancers and nothing against the stereotype, but just because a woman is taller, shorter, bigger, or grows boobs doesn't mean that they should stop their passion, or ability to perform. IMHO
    Like · 4 · 8 hours ago
    Elephant Journal

    Theresa Carrig Sima Hasn't she been successful?
    Like · Reply · 2 · 10 hours ago

    Marisa Flores WOW…
    Like · Reply · 2 · 10 hours ago

    Stephanie Ann Krystal Tini
    Like · Reply · 1 · 37 minutes ago

    Sarah O'Neill Natalie Mouyianis
    Like · Reply · 1 · about an hour ago

    Natalie Mouyianis She is so incredible!
    Like · 20 minutes ago
    Elephant Journal

    Rebecca Thompson Could do without the nip shot..
    Like · Reply · 1 · about an hour ago
    Elephant Journal

    Siobhan White We got to see her perform recently. She's great (my son takes ballet at ABT).
    Like · Reply · 1 · about an hour ago

    Intron Retrotransposon Is nice, but after Black Swan I really hate how they do that thing with their toes tho.
    Like · Reply · 1 · about an hour ago

    Shawn Clearsky Davies Jamie Wood this human is absolutely beautiful. , I'm very happy to come across her , I will meet this woman one day in sure of it, and the respect I have for her and all women in ballet and dance continues to hold down spots in my life!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hours ago

    Melanie Lea-Reyes Beautiful. I would be happy to have that wrong body type too!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hours ago

    Andrew Seery Jenna Marie
    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hours ago

    Davin Shane Nips.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hours ago

    Nakari Rodas Ivelisse Estrada
    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hours ago

    May Braido-Peltonen Paula Firetti Luanda Vieira Fabiana Ikehara olha que tudo!
    See Translation
    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hours ago

    Pea Kay She's incredible. I have loved her for a long time. However, she must, simply because of her larger body and musculature, be sure to always pair with the right partner. To discount her size as solely body shaming would be flat out dangerous in a pas de deux.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 5 hours ago · Edited

    Mariana Milne Rafaela Lourenço
    Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hours ago

    Sylvia Cary Beyond gorgeous
    Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hours ago

    Janine Pickard-Green Stunning
    Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hours ago

    Delroy Brown Her story is an inspiration,she has drive and dedication to her field!
    Really want to see her live and in person! Fantastic.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 7 hours ago

  5. elephantjournal says:

    May Wong New beauty finally !!!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 7 hours ago

    Cassandra Valdespino Tracee Flores now I know who she is. Haha
    Like · Reply · 1 · 7 hours ago

    Carolyn Antoinette I was told that a lot
    Got "you have Marilyn Monroe hips" or "baby making hips" didn't have a dancers body
    When I use to tell people I did ballet they would say "you don't look like a ballerina"
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hours ago

    Sandy Flores Nicole Atlas Robinson
    Like · Reply · 1 · 9 hours ago

    Katherine Perham Jessica Arnold
    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 hours ago

    Kimmi Gibbs Olivia Martin
    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 hours ago

    Tata Polet Lucrecia Ivonee Huerta
    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 hours ago

    Ronne Breaux Pierce Beautiful
    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 hours ago

    Mia Rishdi Beautiful !
    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 hours ago

    Sue Vacchi Rosenbaum Rock it baby…. I have sooo much respect for you!!!!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hours ago

    Katie Marie Maybe not considered perfect for ballet but she has an amazing body! and incredible perseverance. Love this,
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 10 hours ago

    Karen M Ello Gorgeous!
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 10 hours ago

    Ángela María Higuera Paula Calderón sobre tu pasión y enseñanzas, esta historia inspira ^^
    See Translation
    Like · Reply · 5 minutes ago

    Phil Kim Her body is perfection..seriously…but I don't get it how walking around in a perfect body..face..amazing talent..could be a struggle??? Who cares who told her what she obviously didn't listen…
    Like · Reply · 17 minutes ago

    Omar Malavé Camille Battaglia
    Like · Reply · 23 minutes ago

    Krystal Tini Stephanie Ann I saw this yesterday. Im in LOVE with her!!!
    Like · Reply · 35 minutes ago

    Periquita Calzonzin Simply loved her!
    Like · Reply · 46 minutes ago

    Leigh Hall Wow!
    Like · Reply · 47 minutes ago

    Jennifer Lane-Riefler She is lovely
    Like · Reply · 50 minutes ago

    Adrianna Ivezaj Bonventre
    Like · Reply · about an hour ago

    Marion B. Covitz More beautiful than any ballerina I have ever seen..
    Like · Reply · about an hour ago

    Lori Waldspurger Jardel Colleen M thought of you and your beautiful flow xo
    Like · Reply · about an hour ago

    Kirsten Thompson Audrey Burns you are my favorite ballerina
    Like · Reply · about an hour ago

    Erica Wagner I too was told that my thighs were too large to be a ballet dancer
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · about an hour ago

    Pam Stiffler When I wanted to dance as a child, my mother told me I didn't 't have a dancers body…I believed her and not my heart :,-(
    THIS young lady should be a roll model not only for young women, but for young people everywhere!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · about an hour ago

    Ernestine Young I never saw her dance, but would love to..She was a guest judge on SoYou Think You Can Dance which is one of my favorite shows.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · about an hour ago

    Valere Love Thomas Sauer Renado Tozer
    Like · Reply · about an hour ago

    Linda Burlew-Blosser Beautiful
    Like · Reply · about an hour ago

    Leslie Ward Evans Love this, she is absolutely stunning. Bernadette, you will love this.
    Like · Reply · about an hour ago

    Jo Tetley Good for her. Amazing
    Like · Reply · about an hour ago

    Kathy Menne She's amazing!!
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Rachael Fogg Lucky to be blessed with a ballet body. I miss it so much
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Ana Noelia Ortiz Amador Marilys Robles
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Ben Hagle http://i.lvme.me/lgyumch.jpg

    Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 2 hours ago

  6. elephantjournal says:

    Delfos Machado Lízia Bueno!
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Kurt Emmert Sex sells
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Charmaine Gargan Beautiful woman
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Linda Higgie I admire this strong and beautiful woman
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Joanna MacLean Dacey Leutwiler, you know this dancer?
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Florence-Olivia Genesse Marie-Emmanuelle Genesse
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Evone Mccallion Beautiful, dancer and soul, what a gift she has worked so hard at.
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Betsy Lamoureux She is an amazing dancer! It comes from her heart.
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Mischelle Bencosme Omg..I want the wrong body..beautiful. ..
    Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

    Karen Mae Rollins I LOVE this story!
    Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

    Ana Paula Souza Viva!!!!
    Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

    Christine Todd Poppy Todd
    Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

    Catherine Harris Miller Mesmerizing to watch her; inspiring woman indeed.
    Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

    Daisy Carey Kerry de Lisser-Shanks
    Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

    Erica Lozano Rob Lozano
    Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

    Katharina Fath Eltringham Inspiring. Lovely. A story of desire, skill and perseverance
    Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

    Scott S. Russo My kind of Ballet!!!!
    Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

    Cicely Goldilocs Shops Corbett Thank you Elsa I need to start a collection.
    Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

    Erica M Rhodes …I had "awkward legs and ankles" "bony looking" for ballet, then later "too busty to be graceful maybe"
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 3 hours ago · Edited

    Ilse Alluss Très joli!
    See Translation
    Like · Reply · 4 hours ago

    Annamaria Fanelli Tania Koulakian
    Like · Reply · 4 hours ago

    Jodi Farley I love that Under Armour slogan: You Will What You Want. Misty is amazing.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hours ago

    Hellie Mann Hannah April Heath
    Like · Reply · 4 hours ago

    Maria Ghisolfi She is amazing and such an inspiration, Her performance is flawless!
    Like · Reply · 4 hours ago

    Seano Brame Priceless!
    Like · Reply · 4 hours ago

    Vicki Rafn Never discourage
    Like · Reply · 4 hours ago

    Bridget Kenny Awesome, such an amazing story and a bad ass chic. Way to follow your dreams girl, you're an inspiration to us all.
    Like · Reply · 4 hours ago

    Moody Dustbunny i have so much love for this article.
    Like · Reply · 5 hours ago

    Melissa Grace Davies Anna Whalen thought of you
    Like · Reply · 5 hours ago

    Jessie James Lauder Olivia Ostaszewskyj wow
    Like · Reply · 5 hours ago

    Jen Ehrhart Incredible photos.
    Like · Reply · 5 hours ago

    Cynthia Murin Julie Dary
    Like · Reply · 5 hours ago

    Faith Mimina Magali Marcus
    Like · Reply · 5 hours ago

    Kenneth Provost I don't care if you're black, white, purple, green. etc. we all bleed red. This is a beautiful woman and great inspiration.
    Like · Reply · 5 hours ago

  7. elephantjournal says:

    John J Lind It's not just what she was repeatedly told that was racist, the continued infliction of the outdated and racist one drop rule is – she is clearly a person of mixed heritage – as is the distinction that is 'African' American. A ridiculous classification system there merely to subjugate and dehumanise. Fascists!
    Like · Reply · 5 hours ago

    Shar David Love her!
    Like · Reply · 6 hours ago

    Sylvie Cocca Hard to deny!
    Like · Reply · 6 hours ago

    Jo Callaghan Sarah Metcalfe
    Like · Reply · 7 hours ago

    Nick Kiser …good for her, dont let anyone tell you, "you cant," even your self…greatness is when you surpass the conventional anyway. Peace.
    Like · Reply · 7 hours ago

    Kaylene Rawson Karina Allan
    Like · Reply · 7 hours ago

    Kristine Mickelson Jessica ok this changes my mind.

    Jason Myers She's BEAUTIFUL!
    Like · Reply · 8 hours ago

    Mimi Panini Hot
    Like · Reply · 8 hours ago

    Stephen Womack Kelly Higgins
    Like · Reply · 8 hours ago

    Stephen Womack Good read that is Lee Ryan – especially the videos in the article. Better than you usual plastic scouse drivel!
    Like · Reply · 8 hours ago

    Nadia Chao Sandra Chao
    Like · Reply · 8 hours ago

    Anna Robinson I wish I had her strength & been able to ignore those who told me I was technically superb but the wrong size… I'm applauding all the way from New Zealand!
    Like · Reply · 8 hours ago

    Jenifer Hadraba she is perfect
    Like · Reply · 8 hours ago

    Melisa Myers Stunning!
    Like · Reply · 8 hours ago

    Michelle Macrorie Amazing beauties! Strong is so sexy!
    Like · Reply · 9 hours ago

    Elle Sigrid Kyra Wright
    Like · Reply · 9 hours ago

    Luis Couto Jr Bad.. Jacob
    Like · Reply · 9 hours ago

    Sheri Steere You go girl! Inspiring story, truely strong & talented woman!
    Like · Reply · 9 hours ago

    Scott J. Zook Sheena Leigh…
    Like · Reply · 9 hours ago

    Monique Colon Sawyer Branham
    Like · Reply · 9 hours ago

    George Hung She is beautiful. I'd love to see one of her performances.
    Like · Reply · 9 hours ago

    Patrick X McGeady I had the wrong body for professional football.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hours ago · Edited

    Elephant Journal Comment of the day.
    Like · Commented on by Waylon Lewis · a few seconds ago
    Elephant Journal

    SoulChef Vaszily Rana Buckner
    Like · Reply · 10 hours ago

    Rana Buckner Ok, I guess you did! I saw this and almost started crying. So beautiful!
    Like · 1 · 5 hours ago
    Elephant Journal

    William Faor My accupuncture physician here in Fl
    is a big boned ballet dancer from N.Dakota
    My elementary school
    classmate (parochial)
    is David Hallbergs mother.
    The intention by the student is the impetus.
    Like · Reply · 10 hours ago

    Adrian Vâja ohh, muh multiculturalism :)))
    Like · Reply · 10 hours ago

    Elsa Carlson Cicely Goldilocs Shops Corbett
    Like · Reply · 10 hours ago

    Raven Layne Gallier-Mouton Wolf Bradley I'm sure you've seen this, but in case you haven't, here ya go
    Like · Reply · 10 hours ago

    Maggie Left Alexandra Huntrods
    Like · Reply · 1 · 3 hours ago

    Alexandra Huntrods Amazing!
    Like · 1 · 2 hours ago

    Maggie Left Isn't it? I knew that you were going to love it
    Like · 2 hours ago
    Elephant Journal

    Angela Wilder Gorgeous.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hours ago

    Benny Antiglio Beautiful
    Like · Reply · 1 · 7 hours ago

    Mahadesh Muthu Though one's experience is their own & deserves to be respected. It's relative to where you are when you start & how you overcome your challenges. Anyone who is taking responsibility for their own energy, working to better themselves in the best way they know how deserves the highest level of respect regardless of their environment &life situation.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 18 minutes ago

    Tracie Holladay Magnificent.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hours ago

    Babs Beaulieu She had excellent critique on 'So You Think You Can Dance".
    Like · Reply · 13 minutes ago

    Kim Lennon Lara Gandini
    Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

    Amanda Mills STUNNING
    Like · Reply · 6 hours ago

    Melissa Bell Such a beautiful story. Will keep my eye out for her.
    Like · Reply · 8 hours ago

    Michele House Inspirational!!
    Like · Reply · 9 hours ago

    Patty Roumel I would pay to see this amazing,and talented woman

  8. meghanmckinney says:

    She is absolutely beautiful. You can see her strength and it's just as graceful and beautiful as the 'typical' ballerina. I hope she has set the stage for many girls and women who have been told they 'aren't right' for something!

  9. Kathryn Craft says:

    I'm so glad a friend directed me to this post. Brava, Misty! This year Sourcebooks published my novel, THE ART OF FALLING, about the betrayal of the body and the beauty of movement, set in the world of modern dance, a setting a little more realistic for success with an atypical body. Love to hear of success stories in the ballet world, too! A tough nut to crack.

  10. Kevin says:

    What professional performer hasn't heard that they don't have what it takes? It comes with the territory. And I'm so sick of hearing about this perfect ballet body, nobody has believed this stuff for decades — if they ever did — only ignorant teachers say these things. I'm sorry she had to listen to ignorant people.

  11. Sameer says:

    A true outlier

  12. dyeager says:

    Beautiful! When others tell you that you cannot do something, that you are not right, etc. to follow your dreams it takes true strength to continue on. Building your strength, confidence and perseverance is the key to a happy life.

  13. F.E. says:

    Just beautiful!

  14. Sandra L. says:

    Exactly. Be prepared to be told you aren’t talented enough if you are going to be an entertainer. Or in some rare cases too talented. That includes dancing. Also, it is certainly EASIER if your bones line up…they won’t cause you problems or injuries. It is EASIER if you have less to balance (smaller hips, smaller breasts) while you are spinning. Even the placement of your bun can throw off your balance. It is EASIER for the choreographer and costume designer. It is EASIER for uniformity and gestalt on stage. If everyone has different body types and have miraculously overcome the limitations that their bodies present, there still needs to be some kind of harmony on stage. How many women can they find that will look like Misty? She either has to be THE best so they can make her the soloist or be utterly disappointed because she is too beautiful, too muscular, too talented to just fit into the ranks. She is rare and unique. Really to me she looks like how a ballerina should always have looked. Like an athlete. The conflict between entertainment and athleticism occurs then. If one athlete gets injured, other dancers can step in. You need a team of entertainers so that the show can go on. I’m glad Misty has found her calling despite the odds and sorry for humanity if she wasn’t treated well because of her beautiful color. The warnings were a fair message though even if worded incorrectly.

  15. kat says:

    I think they meant to say “you have a STRONG body for ballet”. When I watch dancing, I want to be carried away in the fantasy that is being performed on stage. In ballet, I want to see long lines, fluid movement, graceful positions, and effortless skill. You, my dear, embrace all of this. You are beautiful to watch and I am happy for you that you didn’t have to languish anonymously on the sidelines, and that there were people gracious and insightful, who noticed your raw talent and helped take you to where you are now.

  16. Claire L says:

    I was told my whole early dance career I was too muscular, that I had to lose weight, that I'd never make it in the dance world. I persevered and among only about 25 dancers was accepted to Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Unfortunately those negative comments had taken hold and I developed an eating disorder. Thank you Misty for helping create a new norm (a work in progress) in the dance world!

  17. Eric Conrad says:

    These ladies don’t have the wrong bodies, they have the wrong training, that is, America produces the worlds most sub-standard classical dancers in the world, which is to say that if their artistry was a measure of literacy, they are illiterate in their expression of classical ballet. No One is born with a body that is “right” for ballet. Only through humanities most arduous and complex training regime, can the human body be transformed into a vessel of classical dance expression. True artistry is IMPOSSIBLE in ballet, without correct PLACEMENT, which Misty and ALL American trained “dancers” DO NOT POSSESS! It’s not their fault of course, but it is a fact. American ballet needs to abandon its EGO and ignorance and pursue pedagogical truth with the utmost humility. Cheers

  18. elephantjournal says:

    Helene LoSurdo Ramos Love this!!! What an inspiration for young girls… Of ANY color! You can be anything you want to be!
    Like · Reply · 55 mins

    Autumn Kelly Bradley She is beautiful
    Like · Reply · 5 · 14 hrs

    Jason Fitzgerald Misty is absolutely stunningly beautiful!
    Like · Reply · 5 · 13 hrs

    Joanne Mamola Bovino If we can all just say that person or this person is a dancer,or whatever, INSTEAD of that person is a African-American dancer or a white dancer, maybe the world's mindset would change…just leave race out of it! Try using good or bad, or skilled or unskilled. If a person is qualified for a position, no matter what that may be, then he or she should get that position, as long as they are qualified…period
    Like · Reply · 2 · 3 hrs · Edited

    George Ghartey The label she walks with was imposed upon her. When you hear the word ballerina your minds eye is a white girl, nothing wrong with that as it is the same picture I get. The problem with labels are the struggles you are put through due to the labeling. …See More
    Like · 1 · 1 hr

    Ade Osazuwa People like you sound so incredibly ignorant. Leaving race out of it and refusing to acknowledge it does NOT help. It just makes it easier for people like you to pretend that it's not an issue.
    Like · 2 · 57 mins

    Joanne Mamola Bovino Then stop making it an issue…get it?
    Like · 26 mins

    Joanne Mamola Bovino And when the word ballerina is said, the only thing that should come to mind is a dancer
    Like · 25 mins
    Elephant Health & Wellness

    Write a reply…

    Suretha Le Grange Tsholo Sebobe after your ballet photo
    Like · Reply · 13 hrs

    Terrie Collins She has the most sexy body ever she can be what ever she likes
    Like · Reply · 5 · 11 hrs

    Jamie Michelle Duran Nipple.
    Like · Reply · 3 · 14 hrs

    Brandon Bornagainfitness Jenkins Yeah, we all have them…no biggie in 2015.
    Like · 3 · 9 hrs

    Gina Moriarity Mature.
    Like · 9 hrs

    Jamie Michelle Duran Awe, that's cute.
    Like · 1 · 6 hrs

    Cynthia E. Beaupre If nipples offend you so much how do you deal with men's nipples when you see them? It amazes me that the nipple was the only thing you found note-worthy on that absolutely beautiful picture.
    Like · 2 · 5 hrs

    Jamie Michelle Duran Lol Awe, the butt hurt is strong with this one.
    Nipples don't offend me, if they did, I would've reported this post, genius.
    Like · 1 · 3 hrs

    Marlene M Moon Yawn
    Like · 3 hrs

    Jamie Michelle Duran My thoughts exactly.
    Like · 2 hrs

    Leslie Beinhauer Eash You have a genius for pointing out the nipple, lol
    Like · 1 hr

    Jamie Michelle Duran Does that mean I get a gold star?!
    Like · 1 hr

    Jamie Michelle Duran Man, you guys are great for causing so much nonsense over me saying one word.
    Technically, the picture contains slight nudity, which is against FB picture policy.
    My pointing it out was simply a joke. "Haha FB. You missed a nip slip."
    But, good job talking down to someone and making a mountain out of a molehill.
    I bet you're SO proud!!
    Unlike · 1 · 1 hr · Edited
    Elephant Health & Wellness

    Write a reply…

    Lynsey Dick What an incredible physique! She's stunning.
    Like · Reply · 3 · 11 hrs

    Joan Frome Inspirational
    Like · Reply · 17 mins

    Will Hines She fine as wine tho
    Like · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs

    Drew Perry Is she leaking breast milk?!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs

    Rachel Pearson I'm pretty sure that's just her nipple /areola.
    Like · 2 · 2 hrs · Edited
    Elephant Health & Wellness

    Write a reply…

    Anne Manley Strong is beautiful!!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs

    Solène Epooziks so many harsh words to tell a 13 yo girl…but you prooved them wrong!
    Like · Reply · 3 · 13 hrs

    Sammi Mathes Clevenger Who's thirteen lol
    Like · 3 hrs

    Solène Epooziks She was 13 when she were told her body was not fit to dance
    Like · 1 hr
    Elephant Health & Wellness

  19. Eduardo says:

    Not an ounce of fat on her body. Perfect ballet body.

  20. Daryl says:

    Some of the images used in this article are in violation of copyright laws as they've been used without the permission of the photographers who created them, and without attribution. Not only is this illegal, but it is disrespectful to the artists that worked hard to capture this dancer's beauty!

  21. 4God sakes says:

    More people of color pictures would appears, if it were not from being denied the opportunity. Examples the Williams sisters of tennis, Tiger Woods, in Golf, Vivian Thomas in Medicine, Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist and cosmologist, just to name a few, but they all are at the TOP OF THE LIST IN THERE FIELD. ~The fear of what people can accomplish if only opportunities were not denied.

  22. TahitiNut says:

    If ever an individual personified both the tyranny of Labels and the fortitude and determination to perfect her own unique and unlabelable array of attributes, it’s Misty Copeland, a woman who brings to life every nuance and every component of what is being expressed in the art of ballet. To watch her is a privilege, bringing forth enormous emotions I cannot even attempt to express.

  23. TahitiNut says:

    If ever an individual personified both the tyranny of Labels and the fortitude and determination to perfect her own unique and unlabelable array of attributes, it's Misty Copeland, a woman who brings to life every nuance and every component of what is being expressed in the art of ballet. To watch her is a privilege, bringing forth enormous emotions I cannot even attempt to express.

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