Misty Copeland made history this week as the first black woman to be named principle dancer at the American Ballet Theater. In a new interview, Copeland says, “This has all become more than I ever imagined.”

Explaining the magnitude of her promotion, Copeland told E! News:

“I wanted to open the dialogue about race in ballet and bring more people in. It’s just beautiful to see the interest that has exploded for such an incredible art form that I will forever be grateful to!”

Copeland adds that the struggle is still real for future black ballerinas. Her advice:

“All you can do is be your best self. I’ve always felt that I had to be that much more aware of how I present myself. I’m representing more than just me. I think every person should think that way. Just because I’m here in this position now doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not still going to be hard for others. Barack Obama being President of the United States doesn’t mean racism has disappeared. It’s all a process and we have to be aware that the work never ends.”

In the meantime, she’s opened up a world of opportunities.


Contact the author at clover@jezebel.com.

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