Beloved super ballerina Misty Copeland has shattered barriers yet AGAIN.
Earlier this month, the LA Times reported that Copeland and fellow American Ballet Theatre soloist Calvin Royal III are gearing up to be the first African-American duo to dance together in lead roles. About time, right?! Fans can expect to see the pair playing Pierrette and Pierrot in "Harlequinade," respectively, at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, California.
We can't help but marvel at the 36-year-old ballet beauty's groundbreaking accomplishment! In light of it, we're taking a look back at five of Copeland's monumental career highlights that have led up to this recent move — all of which prove she's really the greatest of all time!
1. In 2015, she became the first African-American woman to be named an American Ballet Theatre principal dancer.
Just four years ago, Copeland made history when she became the first African-American woman to be named a principal dancer in the 75-year-history of the American Ballet Theatre. When asked about what accomplishing this feat meant to her, she said: "I had moments of doubting myself, and wanting to quit, because I didn't know that there would be a future for an African-American woman to make it to this level. At the same time, it made me so hungry to push through, to carry the next generation. So it's not me up here — and I’m constantly saying that — it's everyone that came before me that got me to this position."
2. She made headlines in both the film AND book industries.
In addition to being one of the most sought-after, classical ballet dancers, Copeland has established herself in the film and book industries. She released A Ballerina’s Tale, a documentary about her career in 2015. She also wrote Firebird, which won the Essence magazine Best Children's Book of 2014 award — plus two New York Times best-selling novels, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina in 2016, and Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You in 2017. Within film, Copeland made it to the big screen when she took on the role of Ballerina Princess in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms last year.
3. She worked with the legend Prince not just once...but several times!
Copeland's star power prompted her to work with the legend Prince on several occasions. She first made an appearance in his 2009 "Crimson and Clover" music video. Then, she later joined him during his New York City and New Jersey stops on the Welcome 2 America Tour. And in April 2011, she made an appearance on The Lopez Show, performing alongside him in perfect tandem.
4. In 2015, she received Glamour Magazine's Woman of the Year award.
The accolades started rolling in early on in Copeland's career. She was honored with the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Award in 1997, which recognized her as the best dancer in Southern California. But in 2015, Glamour magazine honored the dancer as one of its Women of the Year, noting her as someone who has "blazed her own path — and proven that you don't have to bend to society's expectations."
5. She was partly interviewed by former President Barack Obama!
If there's one man we'd love to have a one-on-one conversation with, it would be former President Barack Obama! The ballerina sat down with Obama back in 2016 for a video series with TIME and Essence magazines, which dissected everything from race to body image. In one video, Copeland spoke candidly about her struggles with colorism in the dance world saying, "I don't want to pancake my skin a lighter color to fit into the ballet. I wanted to be myself. I didn't want to have to wear makeup that made my nose look thinner."
Now that you've made note of our top five Misty Copeland moments, which one made you say "WOW?!" Let us know by leaving a comment, Sweat Sisters!