I was a dancer in a former life, and had dreams of training to become a professional before a series of unexpected health issues put a dent in things. I’ve always admired the work, determination and strength of will that it takes to be a professional ballet dancer, and these principals have stuck with me even after I stopped dancing; carrying over into my academic career and then my running.
Misty Copeland first captured my attention on Instagram last year- her promotion to principal ballerina of the American Ballet Theatre made her the first African American woman to achieve such a title.
Some facts on Misty:
- She only began dancing at aged 13, and was frequently the only woman of colour in the room
- It only took her three months to begin training en pointe
- At age 15 she began to pursue emancipation from her mother
- She was often told she would not make it as a dancer, as she did not “fit” into the balletic ideal
- In 2014 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford in recognition of her continued effort to work towards diversification in classical ballet
If Misty’s story of perseverance and strength doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will!
As always, tell me who’s inspiring you!
Lots of love,