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Misty Copeland Just Became One of the First Black Ballerinas to Dance ‘Swan Lake’

Ballerina Misty Copeland just shattered another barrier! The American Ballet Theatre soloist made history when she became one of the first Black ballerinas to dance the role of Odile/Odette in Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

She told Elle after the performance, “There were so many emotions—I’m still adjusting and trying to understand what happened.”

Just this week, Copeland made her New York debut in Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera. Many are hoping this will lead to Copeland becoming the American Ballet Theatre’s first Black principal dancer.

The dancer received praise from tough critics such as The New York Times’ Alistair McCauley who complimented Misty on dancing the role “successfully.”

A highlight of the evening—and a clear sign Copeland is hi-kicking barriers—occurred when Black ballet dancers Raven Wilkenson (Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo) and Lauren Anderson (the first Black ballerina to become a principal of an American Ballet company, with the Houston Ballet company) brought Copeland flowers on stage.

Black girl magic, indeed! Watch a clip of Copeland killing it on stage now!

What do you think?

Brittney Fennell

Brittney Fennell

Brittney is a NYC journalist who has goals to disrupt culture in ways unseen.

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