Each year, Time Magazine publishes a list of the top 100 most influential persons. Misty Copeland, soloist at the American Ballet Theatre was named on the list which came out for the 27th issue of Time Magazine in April.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri in September of 1982, Misty is the fourth child of six siblings. She started learning ballet at the age of 13 but quickly proved to be very talented in the art winning several awards. Years later, being listed in Time Magazine “Top 100 Influential People in the World” may come without surprise. She was fast becoming the most famous ballerina in the United State being featured on the cover of Time Magazine and profiled by 60 minutes, among other high-profile public appearances.
Over the years, she has become an advocate for ethnic diversity in the arts, making her increasingly famous. She has the author of two books; a children book “Firebird” and a best-selling memoir “Life in Motion.” The memoir is an account of the challenges she encountered to arrive to such level of esteem. She was featured in a widely popular advertisement for Under Armour sportswear and made a music video with Prince. Copeland appeared as a guest on the Fox show, and was one of the presenters for the Tony Awards.
At ABT, Misty Copeland’s repertoire includes the girlcow in Rodeo, Swanilda in Coppelia, the Princess in The Nutcracker, and Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, among other roles. In 2013 she was named National Youth of the Year Ambassador for the Boys and Girls club of America and in 2014 she was appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness by President Obama.
Wendy Perron, a former dance magazine editor, noted that it has been since Mikhail Baryshnikov that a ballet dancer had been able to break through to popular culture. According to Damian Woetzel, a former New York City Ballet dancer and currently director of Vail International Dance Festival, Misty Copeland has worked hard to inspire change in the art. He notes, “Misty Copeland has already accomplished a lot in a racially underrepresented world of ballet.”