KUSA – She is a living legend and an inspiration for so many little girls.
Misty Copeland, the first African American female principal dancer for the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, will share her story in Denver.
On Wednesday, Copeland is the featured speaker at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado Annual Denver Luncheon. The Women’s Foundation describes the event as one that “brings together more than 2,000 passionate supporters to create meaningful change for Colorado women and girls.”
Copeland, who began ballet in middle school, was a late-bloomer… in ballet terms. Her unsteady and poverty-stricken upbringing included moving frequently and spending many years living in a motel with her mother and five brothers and sisters.
In her book, Life in Motion, Copeland also describes being criticized and overlooked because of her muscular non-typical-ballerina body and because of her brown skin.
“As different as I felt during my childhood, with all of its accompanying struggles and blessings, it’s been wonderful to see that there are so many people out there going through very similar things,” wrote Copeland in her book.
Copeland was named a principal dancer in June of 2015. She became the first African American woman to hold such a title in the American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year-history. But she hopes she won’t be the last.
“By becoming the first black woman to hold such a role in a national company, I could take a step forward for all the beautiful young dancer who will come after me. I want to pave the way for them, because I hope it will make their journeys easier. I even pray that they will surpass me, if only because it will mean that their burdens have been lightened and they can leap forward into the spotlight.”
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