Misty Copeland Becomes The First African-American ‘Principal Dancer’ At American Ballet Theater

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Misty Copeland was fast becoming the most famous ballerina in the United States — making the cover of Time magazine, being profiled by “60 Minutes,” growing into a social media sensation and dancing ballet’s biggest roles on some of its grandest stages. But another role eluded her: She was still not a principal dancer.

This all changed Tuesday when Ms. Copeland became the first African-American woman to be named a principal in the 75-year history of American Ballet Theater.

Despite this wonderful promotion due to all Ms. Copeland’s hard work, the question still flutters around ‘Why are African-American’ woman still so underrepresented in all of the top ballet institutes in the 21st century?’. This sadly is an age old question simply applied to yet another situation in a life long battle of equality.

Ms. Copeland broke a barrier Tuesday, a barrier that should truly never exist. Copeland’s hard work, determination and immense skill took that ridiculous barrier and completely crushed through it, paving the way for other African-American woman to follow. Her feat is much like that of Jackie Robinson, the first ever African-American major league baseball player. Like Robinson, Copeland proved to the close-minded people that it doesn’t matter your gender or skin color, people are people and they deserve to be recognized when recognition is due.

(Via - NYTimes.com)

Over the past year, whenever Ms. Copeland, 32, danced leading roles with Ballet Theater, her performances became events, drawing large, diverse, enthusiastic crowds to cheer her on at the Metropolitan Opera House, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. After she starred in “Swan Lake” with Ballet Theater last week — becoming the first African-American to do so with the company at the Met — the crowd of autograph-seekers was so large that it had to be moved away from the cramped area outside the stage door.