Thursday, July 02, 2015

Principally Awesome

Some people are just awesome. Not in the hyperbolic sense often used to describe a cool pair of sneakers or a particularly tasty sandwich, but in the stunning, awe-inspiring way the dictionary demands. Misty Copeland is that kind of dancer. This week she was promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, the country’s most prestigious dance company. The announcement makes her the first-ever black dancer to earn the distinction in the company’s 75-year history. She had already been one of the company’s first African-American soloists, but now her place in history is more than complete.

That alone would be inspiring. But her life has been about defying definition and exceeding expectations. She wasn’t the “right” age to start dancing (about a decade too late at age 13). She wasn’t the “right” body types (muscular curves instead of classically willowy). She doesn’t have the “right” skin color (it wasn’t until 1990 that a black dancer - Lauren Anderson – was named principal dancer to any major American company).

But here she is, arguably one of the most famous ballerinas dancing today. Last year she landed a major Under Armour endorsement deal. Earlier this spring she was named to and a cover girl for the Time 100. And last month she became the first African-American dancer for the company to perform the most-coveted role in ballet, the dual leads of Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake.”

Yes, like I was saying, truly awesome.


voltairesmistress said...

Ms. Copeland gave a really inspiring, down to earth interview on NPR's Morning Edition. I recommend it to all!

Carmen SanDiego said...

Really inspiring and truly awesome but all I can think of is "wow that body"