After a 14-year career with the American Ballet Theatre, 32-year-old Misty Copeland has been promoted to the role of principal female dancer. This marks the first time in the ballet company’s 75-year history that a black woman has held such a position. The announcement was made earlier today that Ms. Copeland, along with three other dancers, would be advancing to the position of principal ballerina.
An outspoken advocate of diversifying the habitually and historically white field of ballet, Ms. Copeland persevered for many years to achieve this accomplishment, having climbed the ranks from very humble beginnings to overcome the already traditionally arduous task of dance training, only to be met with issues of race, in addition to resistance to her beautiful, albeit atypical for ballet body type, with its overt, sculpted athleticism.
According to The New York Times, the announcement was met by a crowd of fans and admirers outside the Met’s stage door who were eagerly awaiting autographs from the talented trailblazer.
Congratulations, Ms. Copeland!
Misty Copeland Is Promoted to Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater, Michael Cooper. The New York Times, 2015. Accessed June 30th, 20015.
Misty Copeland makes history as American Ballet Theatre’s first black principal ballerina, Joshua Barajas. PBS Newshour, 2015. Accessed June 30th, 20015.