Ballerina Misty Copeland

Mayor Frank G. Jackson welcomed ballerina Misty Copeland as she visits Cleveland, Ohio for the 2015 Ballet in Cleveland Gala.

Ms. Copeland has broken the racial and economic divide in ballet. Through her tenacious commitment and hard work, she has become an international ballet star and role model to dancers around the world. She is also passionate about giving back to the community and works to bring diversity and opportunity to ballerinas around the world.

Ms. Copeland is the second female African American Soloist in the American Theater Ballet in the company’s history. She has danced many significant roles including, Clara in American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker; Firebird in The Firebird; Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; and, her first starring role, Clare in The Chocolate Nutcracker, just to name a few. She has also earned many rave reviews for her work.

Ms. Copeland found her artistic voice at thirteen years of age, in her first ballet class at a local Boys and Girls Club. By the age of 15, she had won first place in The Music Center’s Spotlight Awards in Los Angeles. From there she studied with the San Francisco Ballet’s Summer Intensive, The Lauridsen Ballet Center and the American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive.

After training with the American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive, she was chosen as one of six females to join the Studio Company. She also accompanied the Main Company on their China tour. In 2001, she joined the American Ballet Theatre’s Corps De Ballet. She was named Soloist under Director Kevin McKenzie in 2007 and has also competed for the Princess Grace Award and Erik Bruhn Prize. She was honored with the prestigious Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts and inducted into the Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame.

Ms. Copeland is also the author of the New York Times Bestseller, Life in Motion and the children’s book, Firebird star of the Under Armour campaign, “I Will What I Want”; and, advocate for diversity, opportunity, and belief in self. She is truly an inspiration to so many and her contributions to the community and the world of dance deserve commendation

Photographer: 
Ruggero Fatica