With success, comes haters and obstacles. Misty Copeland kept her confidence and grace like a true diva when haters tried to tear her down.
Ballet Dancer Misty Copeland, who has made history as the first African American Female Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, recently danced as the Swan Queen in the American Ballet Theatre’s production of Swan Lake in Singapore. But after the ballet ended, to her surprise, she was ridiculed online by tons of critics. It was all because she didn’t follow through with as many turns as she was supposed to in the choreography (she performed 12 fouettés instead of what should have been 32). However, according to Glamour, the performance was phenomenal.
The more impressive part is how she handled the online criticism. Copeland clapped back by posting on her social media and recently spoke out to Cosmo about why she decided to take on the online trolls.
“I just try not to get caught up in reviews and reading things on the internet because they don’t know you, and people don’t know your journey, and I think that especially in America, especially in New York, when people come to see ballet, I think everyone kind of feels like they’re a critic,” Copeland explained to the magazine.
“Apparently, even if they’re not a ballet expert, people love to criticize. But hey, most of the population likely couldn’t complete a successful fouetté turn in stage—forget about 32 in a row.”
Copeland admits she missed some key movements in her performance, but according to her interview, she wants people to realize that “imperfection is what makes live theater so great!” For any career, the key is to keep going and to never let your critics break you!
About Misty Copeland
Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the late age of thirteen, living in a shabby motel room with her five siblings.
Misty, who performs a variety of classical and contemporary roles, had her break-through when she was dancing en pointe, which was three months after taking her first dance class. She began performing professionally in just over a year – a true protegy.
She 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.
Misty joined ABT’s Studio Company in September 2000, joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001, and in August 2007 became the company’s second African American female Soloist. She was the first in two decades.
In June 2015, Misty made it to principal dancer and became the first African American woman to be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history.
She is known for her roles in the 2012 Firebird, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, her lead role of “Clara” in American Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker in 2014, also choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, and her lead role of “Odette/Odile” in American Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake. Her role made her the first black woman in history to play Odette/Odile.
Misty has been featured in publications and television programs, including CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry, Vogue, Essence, Ebony, and People Magazine.
The rising star continues to break-barriers as a dancer, author and much more. She is the author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir, Life in Motion, (co-written with award-winning journalist and author Charisse Jones.) She also has a picture book titled Firebird in collaboration with illustrator and author Christopher Myers.
She has extraordinary accomplishments and has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford in November 2014 for her contributions to classical ballet and helping to diversify the art form.
This information was provided by Misty Copeland’s bio.