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The American Ballet Theatre Appointed its First Black Female Principal Dancer…And it Only Took 75 Years

Thirty-two-year-old Misty Copeland has just become the first black female principal dancer ever at the American Ballet Theatre.

That’s right, in its 75-year run, it’s never happened – and that’s the shocking part about the headline-making news.

After 14 years with the ballet – and eight years as a soloist – Copeland was promoted today to the coveted role. And it’s well deserved. The dancer is already known as one of the most popular dancers in the US. This past spring, she performed at the Metropolitan Opera House and made her New York debut this summer in “Swan Lake” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

She’s also no stranger to the public eye, having already appeared on the covers of TIME and Vanity Fair magazines, and been profiled by 60 Minutes. The undeniable beauty was also front and centre of a hugely popular Under Armour ad last year. In the ad, she dances while a voiceover reads a rejection letter she received at 13 that tells her she has “the wrong body” for ballet and that she’s too old to pursue it.

Not to mention, she’s the subject of a ballet-based documentary, A Ballerina’s Tale, that’s currently being screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. Oh – and she’s also the author of a best-selling memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.

Not surprisingly, Copeland also has a massive fan base, with over half a million Instagram followers – and we have a feeling she’ll soon gain a lot more.

Copeland begins her new role on August 1.


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