Misty Copeland made history in 2007 by becoming the third African American female soloist and the first in two decades at the American Ballet Theatre, one of the three leading classical ballet companies in the United States. Below are a few quotes and words of wisdom from Misty Copeland.
Photo via Vogue
Misty on promoting diversity: "It’s getting the idea into people’s heads that ballerinas can have brown skin that is frustrating. There are so many stereotypes.'"I think it’s so important for young dancers of color to have someone who looks like them as an example—someone they can touch,” she says, grabbing the skin on her forearm to make the point. “I tell them to be true to themselves.”
Misty on body issues: "I had no idea what to do with my body. It wasn’t responding like it used to. It was like starting over.” “They [her ballet teachers] basically said, ‘Your body has changed. You’ve added weight. It’s creating a different line, and it’s not what we want.' I didn’t know how to take care of it. I'd always eaten whatever I wanted—Taco Bell, soda, burgers and French fries. I would come home and eat an entire pizza from Domino’s and six donuts, cry, and go to sleep. The next day I’d be hiding in class. It was a really dark time. I went through a lot by myself because I didn’t have anybody in my life yet who understood.”
Misty on Love:"He taught me to communicate in ways I’d never learned before, to not run away from problems, and sit down and think about things critically. And he made me feel like I really did have a bright future as a ballerina.”
Misty on her friendship with Prince: “He was a mentor to me, a huge confidence booster. When we met, I was a new soloist at ABT. He really helped me understand who I was as an artist at a critical time.”