Fingers crossed

Misty Copeland may become first African-American principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre

Misty Copeland (R). Andrea Mohin/ The New York Times

According to reports, Misty Copeland may soon be promoted from soloist to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. If promoted, Copeland, 32, will be the first African-American woman to hold the company’s top rank in its 75-year history. The decision is expected to be announced following the close of the company’s season at the Metropolitan Opera House on July 4. Recently, Copeland has been dancing in principal roles, and with three principal dancers retiring this past year, the odds seem to be in her favor. On Wednesday, she will dance the lead in Swan Lake at the Met in New York City, and last week she made a debut as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. As her career reaches new heights, her popularity is transcending the ballet world—she has more than 500,000 Instagram followers and in April she was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. Her 2014 memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, focusing on her rise to overcome racial barriers and poverty was a best-seller. According to Angel Corella, former Ballet Theatre principal who is now Artistic Director at the Pennsylvania Ballet, making the decision to promote a dancer is “very difficult.” She went on to say, “You have to keep your integrity. But you have to be thinking about what the audience wants.” Regardless of what happens, it’s clear Copeland already feels like a success. She told the Wall Street Journal, “Being African-American has pushed me to work harder than I might have if I didn’t have that obstacle. If I had to stop today, I would be so proud of what I’ve done.”

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *