Misty Copeland Becomes First Black Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater

Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland made history was in the ballet world this week when was promoted to principal dancer, thereby becoming the first black female principal in the 75-year history of the American Ballet Theatre.

The company announced the promotion on Tuesday, about a week after Copeland made her New York debut in the lead role of “Swan Lake,” one of the most coveted roles in ballet.

The 32-year-old, who has been credited with bringing a diverse audience to ballet, has been outspoken about her desire to become the first black woman to take on the prestigious role as a principal dancer at the American Ballet.

“My fears are that it could be another two decades before another black woman is in the position that I hold with an elite ballet company,” she wrote in her 2014 memoir. “That if I don’t rise to principal, people will feel I have failed them.”

Besides her fame as a skilled ballerina, Copeland has also achieved a level a fame outside of the ballet world. She was featured on the cover of TIME magazine, has a best-selling memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina and has been in TV commercials. She also danced on tour with Prince.

Watch a short clip of the historical moment below!

(Photo Credit: Twitter)