Born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the late age of thirteen. At fifteen she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. She studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship, and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000.
Misty joined ABT’s Studio Company in September 2000, joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001, and in 2007 made history by becoming their third African American Female Soloist and first in two decades. Misty’s goal is to become the first African American Female Principal at American Ballet Theatre.
In 2008, Misty was honored with the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts, a two year fellowship awarded to young artists who exhibit extraordinary talent providing them additional resources in order to attain their full potential.
Performing a variety of classical and contemporary roles, Misty’s most important role to date is the title role of “The Firebird” in “Firebird”, created on her with new choreography by much sought after choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky.
Misty has been featured in numerous publications and television programs. She was honored with induction into the Boys & Girls Club National Hall of Fame in May of 2012. Her endorsements past and present include Diet Dr. Pepper, BlackBerry, Proactiv, Payless, Bloch, Capezio, Sansha, Boys & Girls Club, and Lavazza Coffee.
Misty was handpicked by Prince to star in his “Crimson and Clover” video, and was Special Guest Artist at his concert in Nice, France, and his “Welcome 2 America” tour in 2010.
Misty’s passion is giving back. She has worked with many charitable organizations and is very passionate about giving of her time to work with and mentor young girls and boys.