It's going to take a while before we see a real shift in the students and the dancers that are going into professional companies because it takes so many years of training, but I do think that there's a new crop of dancers, of minority dancers that are entering into the ballet world.

Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland

Profession: Dancer
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

I feel like going to class every morning is so humbling. You're always working to improve, and you're always being critiqued on your next performance. It's not about what you've done. There's always room to grow.

My curves became an integral part of who I am as a dancer, not something I needed to lose to become one.

I was on a path. I was going to become a principal dancer. I never let my mind rest.

I've gotten nothing but warmth from the Black community and positive feedback.

Finding ballet was like finding this missing piece of myself.

I never thought of myself as special or particularly good at anything. But once I started ballet, suddenly I had a new identity: prodigy.

I would have young dancers come to me and ask me questions and want to know what my experiences were like: 'What's it like being a black dancer?' So I just felt like it was necessary for me to share my experiences with them.

Ballet found me, I guess you could say. I was discovered by a teacher in middle school. I always danced my whole life. I never had any training, never was exposed to seeing dance, but I always had something inside of me. I would love to choreograph and dance around.

My favorite role of all? Whatever I'm working on in the moment.

Ballet was so structured. I'd been craving something that could guide me.

Dance kind of was always just a part of my natural state as a child. It's something that, whenever music was playing, I was dancing.

When it came to my childhood - growing up in a single-parent home, often struggling financially - my mother definitely instilled in me and my siblings this strength, this will, to just continue to survive and succeed.

I think I'm pretty laid back. I like cooking, being at home, and going to concerts. And I love to shop!

I know that I'm talented, and I know that I'm not in American Ballet Theater because I'm black - I'm here because I'm a gifted dancer.