Misty Copeland

The First Female African-American Principal Ballerina

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Childhood

Misty Danielle Copeland was born on September 10, 1982 in Kansas City, Missouri. Copeland grew up with 5 siblings, poor, and living on a motel floor. Her mother bounced around from man to man, some of them alcoholics and mean tempered. Copeland took her first ballet class at 13, which she knew was extremely late, but she knew if she worked hard, it wouldn't matter how old she was when she started. Copeland quickly noticed that she was a lot different from her fellow dancers. The obvious one, she was the only black dancer. Her peers had obvious wealth, meanwhile she could barely pay for dance class and pointe shoes. These would all be challenges that she would have to face, but in the end she would come out on top.
Misty Copeland On Changing the Face of Ballet | TIME 100

Character vs. Society

Misty Copeland's story is an example of character vs. society because she had to overcome so many stereotypes while growing up. She has been the only black ballerina in her ballet classes for most of her life. Her body was also labeled "wrong" for ballet. She had breasts and curves, meanwhile most of her peers had the opposite, which made them "better" ballerinas. Her fellow dancers also had wealth, which was common for ballerinas. But Copeland grew up in a motel with a single parent handing 6 children. But either way, Misty overcame these challenges and rose to the top.
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Where She is Now

Misty worked hard to become better than anyone else and strived for it, that is why she is now a principal ballerina. She is the first African-american principal ballerina, and continues to inspire little girls all around the world. Copeland says that , "You can start late, look different, be uncertain, and still succeed.". She wants little girls to work for success, strive to be better, and know that they can do anything they put their mind to. Nothing is impossible.

Works Cited

"Ballet Star Misty Copeland Talks Overcoming Racism and Body Shaming on Her Way to the Top | Teen Vogue." Teen Vogue. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

"Misty Copeland On Changing the Face of Ballet | TIME 100." YouTube. YouTube. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

"Misty Copeland Overcomes Adversity to Star with American Ballet Theatre." Baltimoresun.com. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

"Misty Copeland...The Story of a Black Ballerina." Urban Bush Babes. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

Thisisfusion. ""I Will What I Want:" How Misty Copeland Beat the Ballet Odds." YouTube. YouTube, 02 Aug. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.