Celebrated Ballerina Misty Copeland drew a huge crowd as she gave a talk at the Kingdom Builders Center in southwest Houston yesterday.
— People magazine (@people) July 23, 2015
A month ago, the ballerina from Missouri became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the entire 75-year history of the American Ballet Theatre.Breaking this barrier was the culmination of Copeland’s career that started with her being rejected at a ballet academy for having a body unfit for ballet and being too old at 13 years old.
Well, here is the 32-year-old Copeland now. Soaking in the glory of making history, receiving recognition and sponsorships. Celebrating with her are thousands of young African Americans around the country filled with inspiration.
The ballerina candidly spoke from center stage of the Houston Stadium. Her audience was a thousand strong, mostly composed of excited young African American girls wearing tutus and tiaras, just indulging whatever came from their role model’s mouth.
Accompanying Copeland wass Lauren Anderson, another history maker. Anderson holds the distinction of first ever African American ballerina to become principal dancer for a major dance company.
The duo talked about everything from love of the arts, life, and most importantly, the challenges of being a ballerina of color. The stadium was filled with awe and laughter as the celebrated women spoke.
Towards the end, both Copeland and Anderson were asked to summarize their journey in three words, of which the two answered with inspired words.
Copeland responded with “Challenging, exciting, love.”
Anderson, “Surprising, blessed, giving.”
Just days ago, Copeland was recognized for her historic achievement at the New York City Hall. The ballerina was able to meet and greet city council members at the event.
“Her hard work to hone her talents has earned her this distinction,” said Councilwoman Inez Barton as she publicly recognized Copeland.