Ballet Dancer’s Tale
Ballet Dancer’s Tale- I Want What I Want
Today, I’m going to share a story with you that is inspiring to me and to many others. It’s a story about a girl who overcame the odds, and followed her heart to reach her dream. She is known as Misty Copeland and she is a ballerina who has made history in the ballet world.
Misty grew up in poverty. Her mom, herself and five of her siblings moved around a lot and eventually found a place to stay, which was a two bedroom motel in Gardena, California. Needless to say, they struggled financially. Misty stumbled into dance. One of her teachers recommended that she try an after school ballet program at the Boys and Girls club. Her first ballet class was on a basketball court where she was trying to do this thing called ballet. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until the age of 13 that she first started to dance and heard classical music, which is considered old to be starting ballet. Dancing became her escape and she looked forward to learning something new everyday at dance class. Her teacher, Cindy Bradley, encouraged her to keep pursing dance and took her to practice. Cindy saw the potential in Misty and just had a feeling that she would be one of the greats. It takes most dancers three years to get on their toes–it took Misty three months. Misty’s mother feared the changes in Misty and wanted her home more. Cindy offered for Misty to stay with her and her family. During those three years, Misty became well recognized and started winning awards.
At the age of 15, she decided with the influence of Cindy to claim her independence, which became a very public thing. All Misty wanted was for people to be happy, so she moved back in with her mom. She was afraid her dreams would slip away and didn’t want to loose ballet. Misty won scholarship to American Ballet Theater summer program where she met another person who would change her life and his name was Kevin McKenzie the director of American Ballet Theater.
She is a soloist for the American Ballet Theater. She realized she represented something bigger and nothing was able to hold her back. The realization that she could become a big symbol as a ballerina due to the fact there are so few African Americans in a profession that is mostly dominated by Caucasians. People would tell her that she doesn’t have the right body for ballet, that her muscles are too big. One ballet company told her she wouldn’t make it in the ballet world. That didn’t stop her though. By the age of 32, she has reached the top of her profession. She is the first African American woman to make principle dancer, which is the most elite position. Misty never feels more alive then when she’s on stage. She performs to sold-out crowds all across the country on grand stages. Her athleticism and grace is on full display when she performs. She is becoming more recognized. Her Under Armour commercial went viral and introduced her to a whole new audience. She’s a firehouse that has a heart of gold and loves to give back to others. She’s overcome many things including a serious injury that could have been career ending. She’s unstoppable and wants to change people’s perceptions. She’s powerful and determined. There is a lot of effort put into looking effortless, and she does it with ease. So I encourage you to follow your heart to reach your dreams. No matter what comes against you, you can overcome it.
Article by Jacqui