Born in Kansas City, Missouri Misty Copeland in 2007 became the first African-American ballet dancer to earn the role of soloist at the famed American Ballet theater. Most would think Misty started ballet when most contemporary professional ballet dancers start before the age of seven, but not Misty. Better yet many would not believe that she started and earned notoriety at a Boys and Girls Club. Misty started ballet at a late age only to the ballet world at 13, but people knew immediately that she belonged.
In 2000 she was awarded the American Ballet Theater National Coca Cola Scholar. Misty is only the third African American Soloist since the inception of the American Ballet Theater in 1940.
“I think it’s so important to have mentors,” Copeland told a room full of young black girls during the Black Girls Rock event last year. “It’s just so important to see that it’s possible and to see that someone can make it. Now that I’m here, I can set an example and hopefully make things easier for the next black [ballet] dancer.”
She’s right, it is incredibly difficult to start a path to success in any field without concrete or tangible evidence or imagery. That is the best part of her story because there are very few women of color in ballet, and in the past 20 years she has been the only Black soloist at this prestigious theater, that since its opening in 1940 has had three black soloist.
BCG salutes Misty with a standing ovation for being a trailblazer and sharing her story. She gives public forums to the Boys and Girls Club to show them that you can achieve whatever goals you set.