If You Don’t Know Who Misty Copeland Is, You Need to Correct That Right Now

The ballerina just became the American Ballet Theatre’s first female black principal dancer.


On Tuesday, Misty Copeland, the 32-year-old soloist at the renowned American Ballet Theatre, made history as she became the first female black principal dancer in the company’s 75-year life span. The news of her promotion comes at a time of wide discussion about the lack of diversity in ballet, and Copeland, who beat unlikely odds at a successful career as a black ballerina, has been known for her advocacy for more racial diversity in the predominantly white industry. And that’s not all: During Copeland’s 14-year career at the company, she has published a memoir, presented at the Tony Awards, starred in a biographical documentary, and amassed a half-million-strong Instagram following. It’s no wonder that this past April, Time named her one of its “100 Most Influential People.”

To celebrate this badass ballerina, here are eight videos of Copeland that will get you inspired: