Misty Copeland: dancing into history

Misty Copeland: dancing into history

The Guardian

Aaron Hicklin

Born to dance: Copeland’s story is, for millions of Americans, an archetypal story of triumph over adversity. Photograph: Danielle Levitt for the Observer

She was caught between her impoverished mother and the ballet mistress who offered her a way out. Aaron Hicklin meets Misty Copeland, the first black principal at the American Ballet Theatre

We cannot know whether Misty Copeland would have become America’s most celebrated ballet dancer if she had not met Cindy Bradley, the flame-haired instructor who first recognised and then sharpened her talents, but it seems unlikely. Then again, it’s doubtful that Copeland would have met Bradley if not for Elizabeth Cantine, the coach of her school drill team who urged her to check out the free ballet class at the Boys & Girls Club of San Pedro. Nor is it clear that Copeland would have joined Cantine’s squad without the encouragement of her adored older sister, Erica, a drill team star. It was Erica who helped Copeland choreograph an audition piece to George Michael’s I Want Your Sex. And who, knowing her story, can omit the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci from this roll call? As a seven-year-old, trying to emulate Comaneci’s pyrotechnics, Copeland instinctively understood “that rhythmic motion came as naturally to me as breathing,” to quote from her memoir, Life in Motion

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,