Misty Copeland on being a Black Ballerina and “Curvy”

More Misty because I am a HUGE Misty fan. Check out Misty talking about her life as a Ballerina and having curves in this Written interview.

Hosted By: Black Voices
If you’ve seen the Oscar-winning film ‘Black Swan,’ you know that the ballet world can be brutal. The movie may include exaggerations, but the message is clear: It’s highly competitive, overwhelmingly white and the dancers are incredibly thin.

Yet with all of this, classical ballet dancer Misty Copeland of the American Ballet Theatre has managed to navigate this elite world and, in 2007, even etched out a spot as a soloist — the first African-American female to do so. She was even the featured dancer on legendary singer Prince’s Welcome 2 America tour this past year.

However, it’s not Copeland’s ethnicity that makes her unique; it’s another “cultural” attribution that sets her apart: her voluptuous body. At 5’2 and 103 pounds, the petite, curvy ballerina doesn’t feel pressure to represent for all African Americans but says it’d be nice to see more ballet dancers who looked like her.

We chatted with 28-year-old Copeland about her experiences with this grueling art form.

“BV: You are a curvy young lady; what has been your experience?

MC: It’s been a struggle, especially corps de ballet sets (the large group of dancers). When I was in the corps de ballet, my body was harder to deal with because they made the clothes for the size they expected dancers to be and look like. And just coming to terms with looking around when we’re training and not seeing women who look like me. It was harder when I was a teenager.”
BV: Have you felt pressure to lose weight or had to deal with any mental or physical challenges with accepting your body?

MC: Absolutely! I felt pressure to lose weight. It’s kind of hard to avoid that when you’re in this field. I never dealt with an eating disorder in any way, and yes, I was told many times to lose when I joined the company. I learned to accept my body but I also learned to take care of it, which is hard. Most people who join a company like American Ballet Theatre or New York City Ballet have some problems because they’re young, alone and don’t have much guidance, and it’s easy to fall into having an eating disorder.
To check out the rest of the interview, Click Here

And here is a Video Interview with Misty talking about her life as a Black Ballerina:

Hosted By: DanceChannelTV

Enjoy and tell me what you think!


One thought on “Misty Copeland on being a Black Ballerina and “Curvy””

  1. It’s great to see someone who is calmly brave, knows who she is, and learns to make the best of all she’s got.

    Don’t know whether we’re related, but if so, I consider it an honor.

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