The VIPP Report: Misty Copeland named first black female dancer in the history of the American Ballet Theatre


Special report contributed by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Louisville

Misty Copeland is having a great week in the eyes of the arts community.  Copeland made her New York debut in the lead role of “Swan Lake”, which is one of the most important roles in a ballerina’s repertoire.  Today, she woke up to some even bigger news.  She had received a promotion.  The Missouri-born dancer was named the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.  Copeland is the first black woman to achieve that status in the company’s 75-year history.

A principal dancer explained to me is the highest rank within a professional dance company.  They are likely the star of the company.

Over the last several years, the 32 year old has become a strong voice for diversity in dance.  She even penned a best-selling memoir, , “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.”

Throughout the day, she has received congratulatory messages from entertainers and other artists in the industry from Taye Diggs, Star Jones to the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Copeland joined the company in 2001 and was appointed in a soloist spot in August 2007.

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