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Misty Copeland Becomes First Black Principal Ballet Dancer in History

Ballet sensation Misty Copeland has had quite the year. Beginning her ballet career at age 13. Two years later, she had won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards, and began her studies at the Lauridsien Ballet Center. Accepted into New York’s American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company in September 2000, she is the company’s first African American female soloist in two decades. Her 2012 performances included Thirteen Diversions, Firebird, and Le Corsaire.

Earlier this year Copeland made history upon being named the first African-American female principal dancer in the company’s 75-year history.

Fresh off the heels of being honored as one of Glamour’s Women of The Year, the first black principal ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre is now getting her own street named after her. According to My News LA, the intersection is located in Copeland’s hometown of San Pedro, Calif., and will be called Misty Copeland Square.

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Ms. Copeland and Mr/ Whiteside in the world premiere of “With a Chance of Rain” in 2014 at the David H. Koch Theater. Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

Copeland said in a recent interview with the that  she “had moments of doubting [her]self, and wanting to quit” she said, “I didn’t know that there would be a future for an African-American woman to make it to this level. At the same time, it made me so hungry to push through, to carry the next generation. So it’s not me up here — and I’m constantly saying that — it’s everyone that came before me that got me to this position.”

Through her determination and strength Copeland has become one of the most famous contemporary ballerinas while simultaneously making a breakthrough for women of colour.

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