Misty and Coppélia

Ballerina Misty Copeland greets fans at the stage door following her opening night performance

Ballerina Misty Copeland greets fans at the stage door following her opening night performance

One of my weaknesses comes in the form of American Ballet Theater. Every chance I get, I run up to Lincoln Center, flash my student ID, and procure a $25 ticket for the ballet of the evening. But last Friday, I didn’t want to take such a chance with Misty Copeland. Instead, I booked my ticket months in advance to witness Copeland leap onto the stage.

Although only a soloist, Copeland was featured in ABT’s revival of Coppélia as Swanhilda. What makes this so unique is the fact that she’s black. In the white, porcelain doll world of ballet, it is very rare to see an African-American ballerina take the stage in such a featured and prized role.

While Julie Kent is my all time favorite, I couldn’t help but feel the glee of all the little black girls lining up at the stage door to witness Misty up close. Five years ago, this wouldn’t have happened. To see so many varying colors at the stage doors affirms the promise of change in such a high-art and mostly white world. Because of Misty, ballerina’s of all colors are realizing their dreams really can come true.

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