Weekday Swag: Misty Copeland

All images, Mark Seliger for New York

Ballerinas are truly having their moment. From Kanye’s Runwaway video to the film Black Swan, the public is once again embracing the ethereal grace of the dancer.New York Magazine has a new article out on Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theater’s first Black principle dancer and Prince’s muse/girlfriend. This woman had it at the tender age of 15, and her bold moves have made her a force to be reckoned with in the color-lacking world of Ballet.

“When I stop dancing, I don’t know how I’m going to fill the void of just the experience of performing at the Met—how intense it is to be there for two months straight. Your body gets into a shape it doesn’t reach the entire year, that season.”

Update: An anonymous commenter noted that Misty Copeland was not, in fact, the first Black dancer at American Ballet Theatre, but that Anne Benna Sims and Nora Kimball preceded her in the 1980’s. While I found this to be true, many articles still credit Misty as being the first Black principal dancer there.

Misty Copeland, age 15, dancing to Aretha’s Chain of Fools



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  1. Anonymous

    Misty Copeland was not the 1st African American soloist. Anne Benna Sims and Nora Kimball, who were with the ABT in the early and mid 1980s respectively, preceded her. She should tell the truth and acknowledge those that came before her. They deserve credit. It's a shame what one will do to get media attention.

  2. Wow, Anonymous, thanks for enlightening me, but it seems that she may still be the first principal dancer, by many accounts. I am still researching this and will update the article.

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