Ballet is serious work. It is like a gift of discipline and flexibility wrapped
in a bow. It’s as smooth as jazz, but it’s dancing. We all know that African
Americans deserve to be put on display for our talent. Misty Copeland is the
example because she is one of those black ballet dancers that’s doing it big. SHe’s struggled,
but is doing it big. She has lived in a single motel room with her mother and five siblings. She
will get the title of American Ballet Theatre’s first African American
soloist in 20 years. She has been recovering from an injury that puts her career at
jeopardy. She is one of 6 soloists in Wednesday’s matinee performance of Le
Corsaire at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
In an interview the New York Post, the 30 year old ballet star explained the moment’s
significance. “People say It’s 2013, you live in New York City, you’re being dramatic-but they
don’t understand the way the ballet world works. We’re completely behind the way
the world has evolved. Ballet is just kind of staid”.
The world of ballet is missing out for its lack of diversity. This is a continued concern with
many saying that access and grassroots as the problem’s source. Copeland was 13 when she was
discovered by ballet instructor Cynthia Bradley and took about 4 years to complete training that
can extend up to 17 years. Also, she has a peculiar body build. She is more muscular and
curvaceous that her typical peer.
In the fall, Copeland had to suffer a black line fracture to her left shin
during practice. She had to go through surgery and several weeks of
physiotheraphy. Though she’s dancing around the level of 80%, she is
determined to perform at the Met this week. She told the New York Post”
For young African Americans to feel that they have a chance to see a brown
face on the stage-that ballet isn’t this white world that’s untouchable to them-
I think having that visual does so much. I think it’s so important for them to
see me and hear me”.
Indeed, Misty is right. Young black girls should start early in ballet.
It provides a foundation for greatness early on. Misty has a strong talent for the graceful world of
ballet dancing. Kudos to her and her skills.