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Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland

Principal Dancer

American Ballet Theatre

Making history as the first African-American principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Breaking down barriers. // NYC




2015 Levo 100 Honoree: Creatives

Levo 100 celebrates inspiring Millennials who are transforming the world as we know it. The Creatives category recognizes those who imagine—scientists, inventors, filmmakers, musicians, and all the forward-thinking innovators who shape the new.

See the Levo 100

American Ballet Theatre

Principal Dancer

I am the first African-American woman to be named a principal in the 75-year history of American Ballet Theater.

ESSENCE Magazine

I'm featured on the September 2015 cover of Essence Magazine!

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On the Importance of Mentors

I had some really incredible people who mentored me, and gave me things I never got from my parents. I think it's so important for young dancers of color to have someone who looks like them as an example—someone they can touch.

Read the full ELLE interview here.

I Will What I Want

In 2014, I partnered with Under Armour to create a campaign that shows the power of perseverance against all odds.


Life in Motion

Last year I published a memoir, "Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina" about the adversity I met during my journey to becoming a professional ballerina, and the grace it took to stay positive along the way.

Find the book here!


I feel a responsibility to tell the story of the power of ballet and to keep this art form alive.

What it Means to Me

"Of course, a black woman earning the title of Principal Dancer at ABT would make headlines and potentially change the ballet world. But on a much more personal level, for me, this role was everything!"

Read more of my thoughts here.

Youth of the Year Ambassador

Boys & Girls Clubs of America



2014 Dance Magazine Award


Early Years

I began my ballet studies at the age of 13 at the San Pedro City Ballet. At the age of fifteen I won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. I then began my studies at the Lauridsen Ballet Center. I have studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000.

Levo Love

On Levo


An exciting announcement

Read the Levo article ›