Misty Copeland
ballet dancer
Misty Copeland
Misty Danielle Copeland is an American ballet dancer for American Ballet Theatre (ABT), one of the three leading classical ballet companies in the United States. Stylistically, she is considered a classical ballet dancer. In April 2015, she was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time.
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Hollywood Bowl's 2017 lineup: 'Harry Potter,' Misty Copeland, 'Mamma Mia!' and more
LATimes - 10 days
When the Hollywood Bowl announces its 2017 summer season on Tuesday, the lineup will swing from the ABBA musical “Mamma Mia!” to a Gustavo Dudamel-conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, to Solange and Blondie concerts, to two “Harry Potter” movies with John Williams’ scores performed live to picture....
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LATimes article
Misty Copeland And The Rock Oppose Under Armour CEO's Pro-Trump Stance
Huffington Post - 14 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); A slew of celebrities are not happy with Under Armour’s CEO, Kevin Plank. In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Plank called President Donald Trump “highly passionate” and a “real asset” to the country. Naturally, many of the stars affiliated with the athletic apparel brand ― as well as fans of the brand ― had something to say about those statements. The Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry was one of the first to share his opinion. In an interview wit ...
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Huffington Post article
Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson, Misty Copeland and Steph Curry Speak Against Under Armour CEO's Trump Praise
ABC News - 15 days
Kevin Plank recently praised President Donald Trump, calling him a "real asset."
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ABC News article
How Fitness Culture Enlisted Ballerinas To Profit Off Our Insecurities
Huffington Post - 29 days
It’s 5 p.m. on a Wednesday, and the exercise studio is starting to fill up. Participants are filtering in, each of them claiming a place at the ballet barres that are bolted to floor-to-ceiling mirrors along every wall. There’s not a leotard or a pair of tights in sight; everyone’s wearing running leggings and t-shirts. Their hair is in ponytails, not stiff ballet buns. And the music that soon starts pumping through the speakers is not classical piano, but pulsating EDM and Rihanna remixes. This looks like a ballet studio, but there’ll be no ballet happening here today. Welcome to barre class. Ballet is having a cultural moment right now. From Misty Copeland’s crossover into mainstream celebrity to the proliferation of barre classes and the use of ballerinas as models for athleisure and fashion lines, ballet is once again fashionable and aspirational. As a fashion influence, ballet has come and gone for decades: legwarmers cycle in and out of style, and American Apparel spent y ...
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Huffington Post article
Four Young Ballerinas Celebrate Dancers Of Color Who Inspire Them
Huffington Post - about 1 month
“I want to show the ballet world it’s possible to do all these things and not be rail-thin or have blond hair,” Misty Copeland told Self Magazine last year. “I feel like I’m representing not just the little brown girls but all African-American dancers who have come before me who were never promoted because of the color of their skin.”  In 2015, Misty Copeland became the first black woman to achieve the status of principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater. But as many of our own readers have pointed out in emails and comments addressed to HuffPost Arts & Culture since, Copeland was not the first woman of color to succeed in a dance world historically filled with white, lithe bodies. Before her, for example, there’s Raven Wilkinson, one of the first African-American ballerinas permitted to join a ballet company in the 1950s. And cousins Janet Collins and Carmen de Lavallade, who were some of the first principal dancers of color with the Metropolitan Opera. Beyond those w ...
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Huffington Post article
Misty Copeland and American Ballet Theatre deliver a dazzling 'Nutcracker' in Costa Mesa
LATimes - 3 months
Never underestimate the importance of symbolism. Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre's first black principal dancer, was the lead ballerina in the opening night of Segerstrom Hall's presentation of ABT's "The Nutcracker." Opening night is an honor, and it was a mighty important distinction...
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LATimes article
Raw photos capture Misty Copeland as you've never seen before
CNN - 3 months
In his new book, "Misty Copeland," photographer Gregg Delman captures the ballerina's enthusiasm and elegance.
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CNN article
Historic Woman Photographer Pays Stunning Tribute To Other Historic Women
Huffington Post - 3 months
“We were looking hard in 1999 for women CEOs and women who ran companies,” Annie Leibovitz told The New York Times last month, in a discussion centered on her ongoing “Women” series. She began the portrait project in the late ‘90s, working alongside her partner Susan Sontag, photographing women in leadership positions across politics, sports, business and arts. This year, the project has come back to life, with new subjects reflective of a different time. “Now, it seems that there really are many more women in high positions,” the photographer added. “It seemed like issues were more in the forefront.” “Women: New Portraits,” commissioned by UBS, is currently on view in New York City, bringing together Leibovitz’s images from 1999 with photos from 2016, and several in between. Her subjects include Hillary Clinton, Misty Copeland, the Williams sisters, Gloria Steinem, Andréa Medina Rosas, Malala Yousafzai, Shonda Rhimes, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Warren, Denise Manong, Adele, Shery ...
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Huffington Post article
Misty Copeland Sends A Strong Message To Dancers Who Came Before Her
Huffington Post - 3 months
Starting Dec. 1, Misty Copeland will reprise her role as Clara in the fan-favorite ballet “The Nutcracker.” For three shows in Costa Mesa, California, she will return as American Ballet Theater’s first African-American dancer to play the role. Copeland talked about the many successes of her career ― and the pressure that comes with breaking boundaries ― in a recent cover story for Self Magazine’s December issue.  “I want to show the ballet world it’s possible to do all these things and not be rail-thin or have blond hair,” Copeland explained. Adding: “I feel like I’m representing not just the little brown girls but all African-American dancers who have come before me who were never promoted because of the color of their skin.” Copeland, who is set to release her book Ballerina Body this spring, also talked about the ways in which issues related to body image and identity have impacted her experience in the dance world. “I didn’t go through puberty until I was 19, and ...
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Huffington Post article
Welcome To The Dance World, Where Ballerinas Defy Gravity In Ballgowns
Huffington Post - 4 months
“Dance as an art form is bittersweet,” Daniil Simkin, a principal at the American Ballet Theatre, writes in the forward of The Art of Movement. “On one hand, its beauty is instantaneous and visceral, and on the other, it only exists in a very fleeting moment of ‘now.’” Simkin is one of the many dancers photographed by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory, the duo behind The Art of Movement, a collection of wildly romantic images of some of the world’s most recognizable ballerinas and leading men from around the world. Browar and Ory are the the minds behind The NYC Dance Project, an ongoing documentation of the ballet world centered in New York City. Each of their shoots, they write online, is “prepared as though it were its own dance production, with attention paid to every detail ― movement, lighting and the feeling of each photograph.” The Art of Movement features photographs of Misty Copeland, Tiler Peck, Xin Ying, Marcelo Gomes, James Whiteside and so many more. Some are dressed in ...
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Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Misty Copeland
  • 2016
    Age 33
    In 2016, Copeland won a Shorty Award for Best in Dance in Social Media. Copeland and her husband, attorney Olu Evans, live on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The couple were introduced to each other around 2004 by Evans' cousin, Taye Diggs, and disclosed their engagement in a 2015 cover story in Essence magazine. They married in California on July 31, 2016.
    More Details Hide Details Copeland, when she has free time, enjoys cooking and relaxing, preferring not "to be around a lot of people".
    In 2016, Mattel created a Misty Copeland Barbie doll.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, the Dannon Company hired Copeland as a spokesperson for its Oikos brand.
    She is also set to voice herself on a 2016 episode of the animated TV series, Peg + Cat.
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    In February 2016, Copeland and President Barack Obama were interviewed together in the first of a three part video series with Time and Essence magazines on topics of race, gender, achievement and creating opportunity for young people.
    More Details Hide Details The same month, she walked the runway at New York Fashion Week to support the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" campaign to increase awareness of the dangers of heart disease for women. She appeared in the March issue of Harper's Bazaar recreating Edgar Degas ballerina poses in a photospread ahead of a Museum of Modern Art exhibition: "Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty". The feature was favorably noted by several media outlets, but Sebastian Smee of The Boston Globe argued that contemporary ballet performers take Degas' ballet-themed work too seriously. Copeland has been cast to dance the lead ballerina role in a forthcoming Disney film, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, based on the 1816 story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King".
    Her spring 2016 schedule also includes leads in ABT productions of The Firebird, La Fille Mal Gardee, Le Corsaire, The Golden Cockerel, Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet.
    More Details Hide Details In March 2009, Copeland filmed a music video with Prince for a cover of "Crimson and Clover", the first single from his 2009 album Lotusflower. Prince asked her to dance along to the song in improvised ballet movements. She described his instructions as "Be you, feel the music, just move", and upon request for further instruction, "Keep doing what you're doing". She also began taking acting lessons in 2009. During the New York City and New Jersey portions of Prince's Welcome 2 America tour, Copeland performed a pas de deux en pointe to his song "The Beautiful Ones", the opening number at the Izod Center and Madison Square Garden. Prince had previously invited her onstage at a concert in Nice, France. In April 2011, she performed alongside Prince on the Lopez Tonight show, dancing to "The Beautiful Ones."
    In January 2016, Copeland reprised the role of Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty at the Kennedy Center, choreographed by Ratmansky.
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  • 2015
    Age 32
    After her promotion as principal dancer, Copeland was named one of Glamour Women of the Year for 2015; one of ESPN's 2015 Impact 25 athletes and influencers who have made the greatest impact for women in sports; and, by Barbara Walters, one of the 10 "most fascinating" people of 2015.
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    She also became a brand ambassador for Seiko in 2015.
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    In November 2015, she announced a third book, Ballerina Body, planned to be a health and fitness guide.
    More Details Hide Details Copeland was featured in T-Mobile's ads for the BlackBerry in 2010 and an ad for Dr. Pepper in 2013. In 2013, she represented Coach, Inc. and became a spokesperson for Project Plié, a national initiative to broaden the pipeline of leadership within ballet.
    In October 2015, she performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert accompanied by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who played "Courante" from Bach's Cello Suite No. 2.
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    Copeland was included in the 2015 International Best Dressed List, published by Vanity Fair.
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    In July 2015, a black and white book, Misty Copeland: Power and Grace, was released by photographer Richard Corman, with an introduction by Cindy Bradley.
    More Details Hide Details The book contains photographs of Copeland dancing at sunrise on and around a baby grand piano that washed ashore under the Brooklyn Bridge.
    In May 2015, she was featured on 60 Minutes in a segment with correspondent Bill Whitaker.
    More Details Hide Details The following month, she served as a presenter at the 69th Tony Awards.
    A Ballerina's Tale, a documentary film about Copeland, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2015 and released through video on demand and in limited release in theaters in October 2015.
    More Details Hide Details It was then aired in February 2016 as part of PBS' Independent Lens series.
    When ABT brought Ratmansky's Nutcracker to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in December 2015, Copeland reprised the role of Clara.
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    According to the 2015 documentary about Copeland, A Ballerina's Tale, until Copeland, "there had never been a Black female principal dancer at a major international company".
    More Details Hide Details Copeland next accepted the role of Ivy Smith in the Broadway revival of On The Town, which she played for two weeks from August 25 to September 6. Her debut on Broadway was favorably reviewed in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other media. In October in New York, Copeland performed in the revival of Tharp's choreography of the Brahms-Haydn Variations, in Frederick Ashton's Monotones I, and "brought a seductive mix of demureness and sex appeal to 'Rum and Coca-Cola'" in Paul Taylor's Company B. The same month, she created the role of His Loss in AfterEffect by Marcelo Gomes, danced to Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence, at Lincoln Center.
    On June 30, 2015, Copeland became the first African-American woman to be promoted to principal ballerina in ABT's 75-year history.
    More Details Hide Details Copeland's achievement was groundbreaking, as there have been very few African-American principal ballerinas at major companies. Debra Austin became a principal at Pennsylvania Ballet in 1982, and Lauren Anderson became a principal at Houston Ballet in 1990, the first black principal ballerinas at major American companies.
    She was selected for the 2015 Time 100.
    More Details Hide Details As a result, Copeland appeared on the cover of Time, making her the first dancer on the cover since Bill T. Jones in 1994. In June, Copeland created the small role of the Fairy Fleur de farine (Wheat flower) in Ratmansky's The Sleeping Beauty. The same month, she made her debut in Romeo and Juliet on short notice a few days before her scheduled debut performance on June 20. Later in June, Copeland made her New York debut in the Odette/Odile double role from Swan Lake that is described by Macauley as "the most epic role in world ballet". Her performance at the Met was regarded as a success. Her performance in the role had been anticipated as a "a crowning achievement" in wide-ranging media outlets and by a broad spectrum of fans and supporters. Pioneering dancers Raven Wilkinson and Lauren Anderson were on hand to present her with bouquets on stage. Some viewed this performance as a sign that her promotion to principal was forthcoming.
    In May 2015, she played Cowgirl in Rodeo, Bianca in Othello and Zulma in Giselle.
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    In March 2015, Copeland danced the role of Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California.
    More Details Hide Details She made her American debut as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake with The Washington Ballet, opposite Brooklyn Mack as Prince Siegfried, in April at the Eisenhower Theater in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The performance was the company's first presentation of Swan Lake in its 70-year history.
  • 2014
    Age 31
    In 2014, Copeland was named to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford for her contributions to classical ballet and helping to diversify the art form.
    More Details Hide Details Copeland was a Dance Magazine Awards 2014 honoree.
    In June 2014 at the Met, she danced the Fairy Autumn in the Frederick Ashton Cinderella, cited for her energetic exuberance in the role by Hochman, who missed the "varied texture and nuance that made it significantly more interesting" in the hands of ABT's Christine Shevchenko.
    More Details Hide Details That month, she played Lescaut's Mistress in Manon in which role Marjorie Liebert of BroadwayWorld.com described her as "seductive and ingratiating". Also in June, she performed the role of Gamzatti in La Bayadère. Copeland performed the Odette/Odile double role in Swan Lake in September when the company toured in Brisbane, Australia. Her ascension to more prominent roles occurred as three ABT principal dancers (Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent and Xiomara Reyes) entered their final seasons before retirement. In early October, Copeland performed several pieces including a principal role in Tharp's Bach Partita at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre. In October, Copeland made her New York debut in one of the six principal roles in Tharp's Bach Partita and created a role in Liam Scarlett's With a Chance of Rain. That December, when ABT revived Ratmansky's Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Copeland played the role of Clara, the Princess. The same month, at the Kennedy Center Honors, she was described as "sublime" in Tchaikovsky's Pas de Deux by the New York City CBS News affiliate.
    In May 2014, Copeland performed the lead role of Swanilda in Coppélia at the Met.
    More Details Hide Details According to Los Angeles Times writer Jevon Phillips, she is the first African American woman to dance the role. The same month, she was praised in the dual role of Queen of the Dryads and Mercedes in Don Quixote by Brian Seibert of The New York Times, although Jerry Hochman of Critical Dance felt that she was not as impressive in the former role as in the latter. Later in May, the Met staged a program of one-act ballets consisting of Theme and Variations, Duo Concertant and Gaîté Parisienne, featuring Copeland in all three. Siebert praised her work as the lead in Balanchine's choreography of Igor Stravinsky's Duo Concertant for violin and piano performed by Benjamin Bowman and Emily Wong. Of her Flower Girl in Gaîté Parisienne, Apollinaire Scherr of The Financial Times wrote that she "tips like a brimming watering can into the bouquets her wooers hold out to her". Copeland was a "flawless" demi-soloist in Theme and Variations, according to Colleen Boresta of Critical Dance.
  • 2013
    Age 30
    Copeland reprised her role as Gulnare in June 2013 in the pirate-themed Le Corsaire.
    More Details Hide Details She also played an Odalisque in the same ballet. Later in the year, she danced in Tharp's choreography of Bach Partita for Violin No. 2 in D minor for solo violin, and as Columbine in ABT's revival of Ratmansky's Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
    Upon her return to the stage, she danced the Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote in May 2013.
    More Details Hide Details Nelson George began filming a documentary leverage the chance to present her comeback.
  • 2012
    Age 29
    The Firebird was again performed at the Met in June 2012, with Copeland set to alternate in the lead.
    More Details Hide Details It was Copeland's first leading role at ABT. Backstage described it as her "most prestigious part" to date. After only one New York performance in the role, Copeland withdrew from the entire ABT season due to six stress fractures in her tibia. She was sidelined for seven months after her October surgery.
    A 2012 feature in Dance Magazine stated that Copeland's "classical repertoire... has deepened in artistry with each season.
    More Details Hide Details In the peasant pas de deux from Giselle, she is buoyant and refreshingly lyrical, and her plush jumps in Swan Lakes pas de trois are a joy. As the Fairy of Valor in Sleeping Beauty, she tempers the harsh stabbing fingers and dagger-like pas de chats by uplifting her body with grandeur and, yes, valor." She starred in The Firebird, with choreography by Ratmansky at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. It premiered on March 29, 2012. The performance was hailed by Laura Bleiberg in the Los Angeles Times as one of the year's best dance performances. That year, Copeland was recognized by The Council of Urban Professionals as their Breakthrough Leadership Award winner. She also danced the role of Gamzatti in La Bayadère at the Met to praise from Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times, who noted her "adult complexity and worldly allure".
    In 2012, Copeland began achieving solo roles in full-length standard repertory ballets rather than works that were mostly relatively modern pieces.
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  • 2011
    Age 28
    Her Summer 2011 ABT solos included the peasant pas de deux in Giselle and, in Ratmansky's The Bright Stream at the Met in June, her reprise of the Milkmaid was called "luminous, teasingly sensual".
    More Details Hide Details She reprised the Bright Stream role again in July at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles with a performance described as "sly". As a flower girl, she was described as glittering in Don Quixote. In August, she performed at the Vail International Dance Festival in the Gerald Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado. In November, she danced in Taylor's Black Tuesday.
    In Black History Month in 2011, Copeland was selected by Essence as one of its 37 Boundary-breaking black women in entertainment.
    More Details Hide Details That same month, she toured with Company B, performed at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. In May, she created a role in Ratmansky's Dumbarton, danced to Stravinsky's chamber concerto, Dumbarton Oaks. Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times found the piece too intimate for the cavernous Met, but he noted: "Misty Copeland gives sudden hints of need and emotional bleakness in a duet... too much is going on to explain itself at one viewing; but at once I know I’m emotionally and structurally gripped."
    In early 2011, she was well received at the Kennedy Center as the Milkmaid in Ratmansky's The Bright Stream, a remake of a banned comic ballet.
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  • 2010
    Age 27
    In 2010, after recovering from a stress fracture, Copeland performed in Birthday Offering at the Met and at the Guggenheim Museum danced to David Lang's music.
    More Details Hide Details She also created the Spanish Dance in ABT artist-in-residence Alexei Ratmansky's new version of The Nutcracker, premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
  • 2009
    Age 26
    In 2009, Copeland created a role in Aszure Barton's One of Three.
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  • 2008
    Age 25
    Her 2008–09 Annenberg Fellowship included training for the Pas de Deux.
    More Details Hide Details Late that year, she performed in ABT's first trip to Beijing at the new National Center for the Performing Arts.
    During the 2008–09 season, Copeland was praised for performances in Twyla Tharp's Baker's Dozen and Paul Taylor's Company B. During the 2009 Spring ABT season at the Met, Copeland performed Gulnare in Le Corsaire and leading roles in Taylor's Airs and Balanchine's Pas de Deux from Swan Lake.
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    Her summer 2008 Metropolitan Opera House (the Met) season performances in Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty were also well received.
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  • 2007
    Age 24
    Also in 2007, she created a leading role in C. to C. (Close to Chuck), choreographed by Jorma Elo to A Musical Portrait of Chuck Close, Études 2, 9 & 10, by Philip Glass.
    More Details Hide Details Her performances of Tharp's works in the same season were recognized, and she was described as more sophisticated and contemporary as a soloist than she had been as a corps dancer.
    Copeland was appointed a soloist at ABT in August 2007, one of the youngest ABT dancers promoted to soloist.
    More Details Hide Details Although, she was described by early accounts as the first African American woman promoted to soloist for ABT, Anne Benna Sims and Nora Kimball were soloists with ABT in the 1980s. Male soloist Keith Lee also preceded her. As of 2008, Copeland was the only African-American woman in the dance company during her entire ABT career, and the only male African American in the company, Danny Tidwell, left in 2005. In an international ballet community with a lack of diversity, she was so unusual as an African American ballerina, that she endured cultural isolation. She has been described in the press as the Jackie Robinson of classical ballet. Copeland was a standout among her peers. In her first season as a soloist at New York City Center, in which avant-garde ballets works were performed, she received good notices in The New York Times for a Balanchine Ballo della Regina role.
    In 2007, she danced the Fairy of Valor in The Sleeping Beauty.
    More Details Hide Details Other roles that Copeland played before she was appointed a soloist by ABT included Twyla Tharp roles in In the Upper Room and Sinatra Suite as well as a role in Mark Morris's Gong. A Dance Magazine feature stated that Copeland's "sublime rapport with her partners in... Sinatra Suite has earned her the honor of dancing with the company’s male superstars".
    Copeland's "old-style" performance continued to earn her praise in 2007.
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  • 2006
    Age 23
    In both 2006 and 2007, Copeland danced the role of Blossom in James Kudelka's Cinderella.
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    In 2006, she was acknowledged for her meticulous classical performance style in Giselle and created a role in Jorma Elo's Glow–Stop.
    More Details Hide Details Elo said: "“Often with me in my creative moments—they are very fast, and I can't repeat them myself. Misty has the capability to absorb something extremely fast and then reproduce it exactly, and she gives such clarity to the material. If I were to make my own company, she would be the first one I would call." That year, she also returned to Southern California to perform at Orange County Performing Arts Center and danced one of the cygnets and reprised her role as the Hungarian Princess in Swan Lake in New York.
  • 2005
    Age 22
    In 2005, her most notable performance was in George Balanchine's Tarantella. she also danced the Lead Polovtsian Girl in "Polovtsian Dances" from Prince Igor.
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  • 2004
    Age 21
    Also in 2004, she met her biological father for the first time and regretted that she had not done so sooner.
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    She was included in the 2004 picture book by former ABT dancer Rosalie O'Connor titled Getting Closer: A Dancer's Perspective.
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    The 2004 season is regarded as her breakthrough season.
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  • 2003
    Age 20
    In 2003, she was favorably reviewed for her roles as a member of the corps in La Bayadère and William Forsythe's workwithinwork.
    More Details Hide Details Recognition continued in 2004 for roles in ballets such as Raymonda, workwithinwork, Amazed in Burning Dreams, Sechs Tänze, Pillar of Fire, "Pretty Good Year", "VIII" and "Sinfonietta, where she "stood out in the pas de trois – whether she was gliding across the floor or in a full lift, she created the illusion of smoothness". She also danced the Hungarian Princess in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
    Early career reviews mentioned Copeland as more radiant than higher ranking dancers, and she was named to the 2003 class of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch".
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  • 2000
    Age 17
    In September 2000, she joined the ABT Studio Company, which is ABT's second company, and became a member of its Corps de ballet in 2001.
    More Details Hide Details As part of the Studio Company, she performed the Pas de Deux in Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty. Eight months after joining the company, she was sidelined for nearly a year by a lumbar stress fracture. When Copeland joined the company, she weighed (she is tall). At age 19, her puberty had been delayed, a situation common in ballet dancers. After the lumbar fracture, her doctor told her that inducing puberty would help to strengthen her bones, and he prescribed birth control pills. Copeland recalls that in one month she gained 10 pounds, and her small breasts swelled to double D-cup size: "Leotards had to be altered for me... to cover my cleavage, for instance. I hated this sign that I was different from the others.... I became so self-conscious that, for the first time in my life, I couldn’t dance strong. I was too busy trying to hide my breasts." Management noticed and called her in to talk about her body. The professional pressure to conform to conventional ballet aesthetics resulted in body image struggles and a binge eating disorder. Copeland says that, over the next year, new friendships outside of ABT, including with Victoria Rowell and her boyfriend, Olu Evans, helped her to regain confidence in her body. She explained, "My curves became an integral part of who I am as a dancer, not something I needed to lose to become one.
    Of the 150 dancers in the 2000 Summer Intensive Program, she was one of six selected to join the junior dance troupe.
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    In the 2000 Summer Intensive Program, she danced the role of Kitri in Don Quixote.
    More Details Hide Details Copeland's strongest memory from the summer is working with Tharp on Push Comes to Shove".
  • 1999
    Age 16
    She performed with ABT as part of its 1999 and 2000 Summer Intensive programs.
    More Details Hide Details By the end of the first summer, she was asked to join the ABT Studio Company. Her mother insisted that she finish high school, and so Copeland returned to California for her senior year, even though ABT arranged to pay for her performances, housing accommodations and academic arrangements. She studied at the Summer Intensive Program on full scholarship for both summers and was declared ABT's National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000.
    Copeland auditioned for several dance programs in 1999, and each made her an offer to enroll in its summer program.
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  • 1998
    Age 15
    Late in 1998, all parties appeared on Leeza Gibbons' talk show, Leeza, where Copeland sat silently as the adults "bickered shamelessly".
    More Details Hide Details As a student, Copeland had a 3.8/4. GPA through her junior year of high school. In 2000, DelaCerna stated that Copeland's earnings from ballet were set aside in a savings account and only used as needed.
    The custody controversy was highly publicized in the press (especially Los Angeles Times and Extra), starting in August and September 1998.
    More Details Hide Details Parts of the press coverage spilled over into op-ed articles. The case was heard in Torrance, in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. DelaCerna claimed that the Bradleys had brainwashed Copeland into filing suit for emancipation from her mother, Allred claimed that the Bradleys had turned Copeland against her mother by belittling DelaCerna's intelligence. The Bradleys noted that the management contract gave them authority over her career, but they stated that they would wait until Copeland became eighteen before seeking twenty percent of Copeland's earnings. Another concern of Sylvia in filing a request for restraining orders was that she did not believe it was in Misty's best interest to have continuing contact with the Bradleys. In the sworn declarations filed by the Bradleys in response to the restraining order they said that "we have not and will never do anything to interfere with Misty's relationship with her mother."...
    Copeland attended the summer workshop at the San Francisco Ballet School in 1998.
    More Details Hide Details She and Bradley selected the workshop over offers from the Joffrey Ballet, ABT and Dance Theater of Harlem, among others. Of the programs she auditioned for, only New York City Ballet declined to make her an offer. San Francisco Ballet, ABT and New York City Ballet are regarded as the three preeminent classical ballet companies in the US. During the six week workshop at San Francisco, Copeland was placed in the most advanced classes and was under a full tuition plus expenses scholarship. At the end of the workshop, she received one of the few offers to continue as a full-time student at the school. She declined the offer because of the encouragement from her mother to return home, the prospect of continuing personal training from the Bradley family and dreams of a subsequent summer with ABT. Copeland returned to her mother's home and frequent arguments. Her mother had long resented the Bradleys' influence and soon decided that Copeland would cease study with the Bradleys. Copeland was distraught with fear that she would not be able to dance. She had heard the term emancipation while in San Francisco; the procedure was common among young performers to secure their financial and residential independence. The Bradleys introduced Copeland to Steven Bartell, a lawyer who explained the emancipation petition process. The Bradleys encouraged her to be absent from home when the emancipation petition was delivered to her mother.
    At fifteen years old, Copeland won first place in the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards at the Chandler Pavilion in March 1998.
    More Details Hide Details Copeland said it was the first time she ever battled nervousness. The winners received scholarships between $500 and $2500. Copeland's victory in the 10th annual contest among gifted high school students in Southern California secured her recognition by the Los Angeles Times as the best young dancer in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
  • 1996
    Age 13
    In early 1996, Cantine convinced Copeland to attend a ballet class at her local Boys & Girls Club.
    More Details Hide Details Cynthia Bradley, a friend of Cantine's, taught a free ballet class at the club once a week. Copeland attended several classes as a spectator before participating. DelaCerna allowed Copeland to go to the club after school until the workday ended. Bradley invited Copeland to attend class at her small local ballet school, San Pedro Dance Center. Copeland initially declined the offer, however, because her mother did not have a car, was working 12–14 hours a day, and her oldest sister Erica was working two jobs. Copeland began her ballet studies at the age of 13 at the San Pedro Dance Center when Cynthia Bradley began picking her up from school. After three months of study, Copeland was en pointe. She told Copeland that she would have to give up ballet, but Bradley wanted Copeland to continue and offered to host her. DelaCerna agreed to this, and Copeland moved in with Bradley and her family. Eventually, Copeland and DelaCerna signed a management contract and a life-story contract with Bradley. Copeland spent the weekdays with the Bradleys near the coast and the weekends at home with her mother, a two-hour bus ride away. Copeland would spend most of her next three years with the Bradleys. By the age of fourteen, Copeland was the winner of a national ballet contest and won her first solo role. The Bradleys introduced Copeland to books and videos about ballet.
  • 1994
    Age 11
    By 1994, Copeland's mother had separated from Robert.
    More Details Hide Details After living with various friends and boyfriends, DelaCerna moved with all of her children into two small rooms at the Sunset Inn in Gardena, California.
  • 1982
    Born on September 10, 1982.
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