Misty Copeland Becomes First African-American Principal Dancer At American Ballet Theater


Earlier this year, Misty Copeland snagged a cover for TIME magazine’s annual Most Influential issue. She follows that up by achieving her lifelong dream. The 32-year-old ballet dancer, who was once told she was the wrong color, made history today.

Copeland becomes the first African-American female principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre in its 75-year history. The honor is the highest rank at the company.

“My fears are that it could be another two decades before another black woman is in the position that I hold with an elite ballet company,” she wrote in her memoir, “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina,” published in 2014. “That if I don’t rise to principal, people will feel I have failed them.”

Misty joined the ABT in April 2001 and rose the ranks throughout the years. She was appointed a soloist in 2007. This isn’t the first time she’a made history with the ABT.

She became the first black dancer to star in the company’s production of Swan Lake. Most people, though, will recognize her from her guest-judging stints on So You Think You Can Dance.

Congrats to Misty for making history and fulfilling her dreams.

  • bannock-hou

    I heard this story on NPR today, so happy for her. Glad you guys are covering this story! She is beautiful, accomplished and deserves this!