Exclusive Interview: Misty Copeland Talks about Being a Curvy Black Ballerina

42 comments
March 5, 2011 ‐ By Demetria Irwin

Misty Copeland is an accomplished ballerina…and a bad chick. She’s the first African American female soloist for the prestigious American Ballet Theatre and she also graced the stage alongside music legend Prince during his recent tour. Rumor has it that she is currently dating the Purple One. You KNOW we asked her about that!

Find out what she said about the whole Prince thing and what it’s like being a black curvy girl in the world of ballet.

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  • Miss B

    Ms Copeland appears so focused & determined. The person interviewing her seemed unprepared and somewhat overwhelmed, looking down at bits of scrap paper and unfocused.

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  • itiballc

    I congratulate her accomplishments, but there has been a Black Ballerina (in London) make it. Please do a search for Brenda Edwards who made this accomplishment . http://balletmasterclass.com/faculty/brenda-edwar… Proud to say this is my cousin!

  • amber j

    I knew this woman when she was a young lady and she IS beautiful, inside and out. I’m so proud of what she has accomplished. She is amazing.

  • Celisa Richardson

    lovely,….just like Prince & His presence!!!!!!!!

  • http://forum.livestage.ru/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=282113 Aileen Heuberger

    Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and amazing design and style.

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  • http://ostatic.com/member/Snekkfish18 Latasha Racki

    Dead indited content , Really enjoyed looking at .

  • sarahshine

    Misty does not have the best photos nor the highest level of talent in ballet. Classy women of color in the ballet world have pictures like that of Aesha Ash and Linda Celeste Sims. Amazing ballerina's with fire that Misty lacks.

  • classisgone

    Her boobs look saggy in that photo, it's not flattering at all. Some of her pictures she is pretty much showing the world her crotch…. spread eagle, no nylons, no skirt. Where is the class? Women of color are better than that. You can show your "skills and lines without flashing your goods to the world.

  • soneil

    She is an average pro ballerina. Average looking. She lacks some of the grace and fluidity that prima ballerinas display perfectly.

  • http://www.chibasworld.com chiba chiba yall!

    This woman is amazing love her!

  • David

    Misty is a Awesome Human Being that should be Supported, I Believe That she is a Wonderful and Courageous Young Women Who is a Great Trailblazer, That's a Difficult Thing to Be.
    I Admire Her as a gorgeous person on the Inside and Out and for being a Outstanding Ballerina and not just a great Black Ballerina But a Great Ballerina in General for the Whole World to Know and Appreciate.

  • Yauri, PhDiva

    I am a dancer. I am not in the American Ballet but I am a dancer. I trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance School, worked with Katherine Dunham, for the Ailey School and at Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co. Center for Dance Promotion. By the way Bill T. Jones is choreographer of FELA! the Broadway hit that one three Tony's (also produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and JZ. I earned an MA in Dance from NYU and I have been in a PhD program in Dance for the past five years. I have performed off Broadway, performed in the US and abroad in both Spain and Italy and I am 29 years old. I have also been happily married for almost six years and I am a mother of two, a four year old and a two year whom I nursed and have been a stay at home mother to. I had my 4 year old in a birthing center and my 2 year old at home in a pool in my living room. I am still dancing I run my own dance organization and I am currently working on a choreographic project. I hope to finish my PhD soon and I would LOVE to have more children. It is possible. Never give up on your dreams and never EVER tell anyone what you cannot do. I remember seeing this dancer in dance magazines I would buy when I was in high school and though I did not start dancing as early as she and thought wow, she is awesome and made me proud to see her in mags and to be highlighted…I never gave up. And believe me, I have had major obstacles thrown my way. Check out my dance organization "ethnodanceology" and my blog and portfolio where I have some of my work is my full name dot com. Yauri S. Kelly Dalencour no space and no dot after the s. BE INSPIRED. Misty never gave up why should you or the next one? And know, it is never to late to follow your dreams. Misty is awesome, beautiful, and I am so happy for her. Through my organization I look at dance as it relates to culture and "race". The Ballet world – Perceptions of image, identity, body, perfecting technique and I could go on but all of those come into play. I love ballet, I think it is beautiful and I studied it for many years. To be a dancer is very very competitive … whatever type of dancer – contemporary, classical ballet, tap whatever. I know what Misty was up against and she has and continued to push though!

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  • Sunny

    No, Nora's accomplishment does not diminish Misty's in any way. And Misty still has a chance to be a "first" if she becomes ABT's first black female principal. Whatever the case, let's hear it for ALL black swans.

  • Carley

    It does not diminish Misty's admirable accomplishments to acknowledge that Nora Kimball, an African American ballet dancer, was a soloist at American Ballet Theatre a generation before Misty. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nora_Kimball

    • Yauri, PhDiva

      Yes! Thanks for adding that!

  • Sunny

    Anyway, Misty is a great ambassador for the world of classical dance. I personally know some adorable little ones who really look up to her. Because of Misty, they now know that ballet also something for girls like them.

  • Sunny

    It's sad that arts education is rarely taught in ANY U.S. schools , not just those in African American communities.
    I'd love to see that trend reversed so that the Misty Copelands of the world are less rare. But so many of our young people need so much help in catching up with the educational basics, that many folks probably see high culture art forms like ballet, classical music and opera as a luxuries we simply can't afford at this time.
    Then there are those who foolishly maintain that these European originated art forms just aren't for us. That's ridiculous of course, because the very essence of art is that it belongs to anyone who can master it or appreciate it. Thus, white people can be jazz fans and black people can be ballet fans.
    Nowadays, many people in the high culture arts reject the notion that their forms of entertainment aren't for everyone, and many are making great efforts to reach out to those who think they can't or shouldn't relate to "high culture."

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  • MsRico626

    I am so glad I saw this! BEAUTIFUL!

  • Auntie Kitty

    What a great interview. I learned I have an unmet need. I must put The American Ballet Theater on my to do list.

  • Sunny

    I’m so happy that someone FINALLY knew enough to ask her about her goal of becoming the first black woman to become a principal dancer with one of the top ballet companies in the world.

    Tavis Smiley obviously didn’t do his homework, because he didn’t know that being a soloist, while prestigious, is not the highest level someone can reach in a ballet company. Thus, he never asked about her desire to go higher.

    Black ballerinas Lauren Anderson, formerly of Houston Ballet and Tai Jimenez formerly of Boston Ballet, DID make principal dancer in their respective companies which are consistently ranked by many ballet folk as being in the top ten in the U.S. Considering how competitive it is just to make it into those companies at the lowest ranks, their accomplishments are impressive.

    Yet no black woman has every made it to the role of principal in the U.S. big three – New York City Ballet, SanFrancisco Ballet or American Ballet Theater.

    I think Misty will be that woman. I can’t wait to see her dancing lead roles in one of the finest ballet companies in the world, American Ballet Theater.

  • Kelli

    Love to see real beautiful black women show there talent outside of showing their assets. Misty, GREAT Job!

  • willamina

    I thought she was gonna say "he has been like a father to me" . She looks very young and he is like 25 years her senior. It's good that she is focused and has her priorities straight. I knew they were not a couple, it wouldn't make sense. Prince does have an eye for talent in all areas. Look at Esperanza Spalding, now a grammy award winning songstress, and Janelle Monae and Sheia E.

    • Dana

      I think they are a couple. I haven't seen his former girl in quite awhile and Misty said when asked if she's in a romantic relationship, "all I can say is…everyone loves Prince" then she says what else he is to her. Prince is not the average 53 year old man by any stretch of the imagination & his best love was his wife Mayte who was also an accomplished dancer, his 2nd was a rebound the very next year after they split. If their son hadn't died, he's still be married to his first wife, but Prince always moves on…..

  • birthday girl

    SO glad to see this! I spotted her in a commercial and couldn't tell if she was black or not. I shared this with my little 9yr. ballerina, who just got accepted into a school for visual and perfoming arts. Glad she has someone in the field to watch!

    • Yah

      yep, both parents are black

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  • http://twitter.com/87PageS @87PageS

    beautiful! I've always wanted to be a ballerina!

  • AKADRFUNK

    Wow. That's all I got.

  • http://twitter.com/DeeDeeTV @DeeDeeTV

    She is talented poised and beautify Prince has good taste!

    • Duwayne

      I reckon she's about 80% Caucasian DNA. Improving the gene pool….

      • Yah

        Both her parents are black, idiot. And having caucasian in you does not improve your gene pool. If anything, it weakens it since caucasians have the highest amount of genetic diseases of all races. jerk.

    • black swan

      Misty is not the only woman of color makeing their mark on the ballet scene. Check out Aeesha Ash and Linda Celsete Sims!!!! Crazy talented!