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Misty… Ms. Copeland, if you’re nasty, is only the second black woman ever, like EVER EVER, to become a soloist in the American Ballet Theatre. When most little girls start ballet with crayons in their hands, Misty didn’t take her first lesson until she was 13. The sister is THAT bad. Not this new age “bad” where all you need is a big booty and can twerk, but BEE-AAYEE-DDEE, bad.
In her memoir, “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina,” she tells her story of poverty and pain. How her mother and 5 siblings ended up living in a motel to her dance teacher bringing her protege to live with her.
In the March 2014 issue of Teen Vogue you can read some more of Misty’s story.
Finally, one afternoon I told myself that if I was going to go to the gym at the Boys & Girls Club anyway, I might as well give ballet a try. I went into the locker room to change and emerged, slightly embarassed, in blue cotton shorts long enough to scrape my knees, my white T-shirt, and a pair of old gym socks. I willed myself to walk to the center of the basketball court.
“Misty,” the teacher, Cindy Bradley, called, “can you come here for a second?”
Trapped, I reluctantly followed her to the front of her class. I felt overwhelmed in that first class; it was too much information coming too fast, and I was behind the other students.
Most ballerinas start to dance when they sipping juice boxes in preschool. I was thirteen years old. Self-doubt taunted me.
I think from the beginning Cindy, in her mind, in her plan, saw stardom as my destiny.
“The perfect ballerina has a small head, sloping shoulders, long legs, big feet, and a narrow rib cage,” Cindy said one afternoon, reading George Balachine’s description of the ideal dancer. She looked up and stared at me adoringly, “That’s you, ” she said softly.
“You’re going to dance in front of kings and queens,” she said.
“You will have a life most people cannot even imagine.”
I began to believe her
* * *
We can go on and on about Misty, but we’ll let some of these photos do the talking.
Watch Misty in the video below describe how she got into ballet after being discovered at the age of 13 on the basketball court. Misty takes pride in representing all black women, and that’s why we love her.
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