Misty Copeland Will Challenge Everything You Know About Ballet

When we were asked to write about women who inspired us for the Women of Worth campaign, I thought of about, well, a million women who I look up to on the daily. But one woman who I have been thinking about a lot thanks to the level of exposure on the internet lately is Misty Copeland.

Misty is a 31-year-old ballerina with the prestigious American Ballet Theater, and she was recently promoted as a principal dancer in the troupe; this is notable because she is only the third African-American soloist in the history of the ABT. Her life story of going from dreamer to prima ballerina is incedible, and her struggles have been documented in a new best-selling autobiography titled Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.

Misty grew up in a household where money was a luxury; she even spent a few months of her life living in a motel with her mother and siblings. She fell in love with and finally started formal training at 13 years of age — this is considered a very late start in a world where ballerinas usually begin their training as soon as they learn to walk.

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Misty also writes about the discrimination she endured, being a black woman in an art form dominated by white women. But for that, she has become an inspiration for African-American women who aspire to become professionals in the ballet world.

Her hard work paid off when she was named as a principal dancer at the ABT. She also signed up to be one of the new faces of sportswear line Under Armor, sealing that deal with a hypnotic commercial that shows off her controlled and graceful strength. The commercial has gone viral since its release, practically making her a household name:

The takeaway from Misty’s inspiring life story is that it’s never too late to do something if you really want to do it. If you want more Misty, follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and don’t forget to look up the fun beauty and skin care interview conducted by Into the Gloss!