Misty Copeland: From Homeless to Famed BallerinaBy: Pam Wright - April 6, 2014
The beyond beautiful ballet star Misty Copeland defies physics when she dances and is making a name for herself not only in the cut-throat ballet world, but in leading the way for other young African-American ballet dancers.
Copeland had very little while growing up in the Los Angeles area with her siblings and single mother.
“We were pretty much homeless and were living in a motel, trying to scrape up enough money to go to the corner store to get [a] cup a noodle soup to eat,” Copeland said. “It was probably the worst time in my childhood when ballet found me.”
Fate stepped in when she was 13 while visiting a Boys and Girls Club. It was there that she caught the attention of ballet teacher Cindy Bradley who persuaded her to pursue formal ballet training.
“I had no real direction, no real motivation to become anything,” Copeland said in an ABCNews Interview. “Having someone believe in me is why I think I dove into it,” Copeland said.
But, it wasn’t an easy world to break into for the young African-American woman.
“It’s really hard. The classical ballet world is so far behind,” said Copeland. “When it comes to classical ballet, you just don’t see it. People don’t want to break this tradition of what they think is the ideal image of a ballerina.”
For a decade, Copeland was the only African-American dancer in the prestigious American Ballet Theater.
In 2007, she became the third African-American female soloist with the dance company.
And her ultimate dream has yet to be realized — becoming the first African-American principal ballerina there.
Copeland has not forgotten where she came from and how far she has risen.
“It’s crazy, Copeland said, “but then I have to remember all the hard work that went into those years to get here. I do often think of that.”
Image via YouTube