Misty Copeland, Breaking Barriers in Ballet

Published on09 FEB 2015

Misty Copeland, principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre, discusses motivation, diversity and breaking barriers.

On her passion for ballet: “I absolutely love what I do. The amount of time [dancers] are on stage and the opportunities to perform big roles are so few and far between that if you don’t enjoy the process, it isn’t worth it.”

On being a role model to the next generation of ballet dancers: “At this point in my career, having the platform that I have to speak about diversity, I’m motivated by all of those young dancers who can see themselves through me. It’s about creating a new dream and possibility for them, and that’s what drives me to keep dancing.”

On maintaining the traditions of ballet: “In order for [ballet] to stay relevant, we have to invite a younger and more diverse audience in, but I don’t think we need to make classics such as ‘Swan Lake’ contemporary to do so. [The tradition] is what’s so incredible about the art form.”


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