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With the perfect balance of being an African-American and confidence, Misty Copeland took the world by her wonderful performances and how she presented herself to the world. She is a ballet dancer, author, soloist and also an entertainer known to be one of the most admired ballerinas in American Ballet Theatre. She rose to ballet stardom even though she didn’t take her first ballet class until she was 13. (She did, however, like to choreograph moves to Mariah Carey songs when she was a girl.)
Misty Copeland Biography
Misty Copeland was born in Kansas City, Missouri in September 10, 1982. She is an amazing mix of African American, German American and Italian American descent. She is the youngest within her four sisters from her mother’s second marriage. She also has two half-siblings. However, they moved to San Pedro, California when she was young where she eventually grew older. In her memoir book titled, “Life in Motion: an Unlikely Ballerina,” she wrote what her childhood felt like. “I came from a San Pedro, California, family that didn’t always have enough food to eat, let alone money to spend on a hobby, and it wasn’t until I was 13 years old that I could even take my first ballet class.” She admitted she was pushed into it. “I was just a very nervous, fearful child, afraid of anything new.”
What made her life more manageable was her role model and inspiration “Nadia Comaneci” when she saw her on Lifetime. Even though she was not able to take any professional ballet and gymnastic lesson until her teenage years, she worked hard on doing her own choreographies, and dance moves to many songs by Mariah Carey.
Even with her not-so-perfect childhood where they live in a single motel room with her single mother and five siblings, hungry and afraid; she continued on to working hard. “Survival was our Number 1 priority, not extracurricular, or a career.”
But she was given an opportunity when she was 14 where she was homeschooled to on her ballet skills. And finally by the age of 15, she won first place in the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards. To further her career and talent, she transferred and studied at the San Francisco Ballet School. According to her, it’s really amazing for her to finally to be seen on the stage. Despite her family’s refusal for her ton continue, she was able to resume her ballet lessons from a former ABT dancer Diane Lauridsen of Torrance’s South Bay Ballet at the Lauridsen Ballet Center.
Everything changed when she was 19 where she finally hit puberty. Her body began taking a fit and wonderful shape and she developed breasts. It was a terrifying moment for her because her body just suddenly changed.
She auditioned for many years, got several offers, fallbacks from her family but in the end, she became part of ABT on 2000. Early career reviews mentioned her as more radiant than higher ranking dancers. She was named to the 2003 class of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.”
However, she was diagnosed with a fracture. She went to surgery to get a plate screwed into her tibia and bone marrow extracted from her hip and injected into the fractures. Despite of that, she still continued with her ballet performances.
Misty Copeland wrote about her career: “I still worry, far more than I should, about what the ballet world thinks of me—whether I will ever be accepted and seen as a well-rounded artist deserving of respect. Or will I forever be “the black ballerina,” an oddity who doesn’t quite compare? But in my moments of clarity I envision all the people whose lives have been touched by my story, who upon seeing my journey know that you can start late, look different, be uncertain, and still succeed.”
Misty Copeland is currently single and resides in New York City.
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