Lillian Cunningham of the Washington Post is reporting that Misty Copeland has been promoted to principal dancer of the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, becoming the first African-American ballerina to reach the elite dance company’s top rank. Cunningham writes:
“Copeland, 32, has become one of America’s most famous female athletes, revered for her unlikely ascendance in an art world notorious for showcasing only lithe, white ballerinas.
And her star power has stretched far beyond dance. She has authored a best-selling memoir, was featured this year on the cover of Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People,’ and has starred in a viral Under Armour ad, twirling amid the reading of a rejection letter declaring she has ‘the wrong body for ballet.’
Copeland, whose new role will start August 1, was widely expected to be among the three women selected as principals this year, following the retirement of longtime American Ballet Theatre dancers Julie Kent, Paloma Herrera and Xiomara Reyes. Copeland has performed many principal-level roles recently, including the female leads in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Firebird,’ but at the rank of soloist.'”
Read more at the Washington Post.