Why we love Misty Copeland

This blog title should really be, “How can we not love Misty Copeland?”  Misty was the first African American principal ballerina with American Ballet Theatre and continues to star in classic and contemporary works with the company.  She is the face of Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign, has written numerous books, and is an inspirational public speaker.  Here are a few more of the many reasons why we love Misty Copeland:

She started ballet “late.”  You might think that Misty was born with beautiful lines and perfect technique.  Well, that’s not quite the case.  In fact, she didn’t even start taking ballet class until she was 13 years old (which is considered “late” for most dancers hoping to turn professional).  This goes to show that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams.

She’s a fierce athlete.  Misty’s strength, endurance, grace, and power are undeniable.  Her “I Will What I Want” Under Armour campaign inspires women of all ages to follow their dreams and overcome whatever challenges might come their way.

She’s breaking the mold.  Few prima ballerinas have looked like Misty, not only in terms of the color of her skin, but also her hourglass figure and strong musculature.  She is living proof that dancers do not need to have waif-like figures to be virtuosic ballet technicians.

Ballet gave her confidence.  Misty used to be shy as a teenager, but ballet helped her to break out of her shell. Nowadays, Misty is a poised and confident public speaker and celebrity spokesperson.

She’s inspiring the next generation.  Misty’s dancing, autobiographies, documentary, campaigns, and image inspire dancers of all ages, ethnicities, and abilities—especially younger dancers who look up to her as a role model.

Misty has taken what it means to be a ballerina off the stage and into her every aspect of her life—she has a voice to inspire and affect positive change within the ballet world and beyond.  And she does it all with hard work, grace, dignity, dedication, and poise. Why else do you love and look up to Misty Copeland?  Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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