Misty Copeland Deserves a Standing Ovation

Misty Copeland – H 2015
AP Images

Misty Copeland – H 2015

On Tuesday the ballet dancer and author became the first African-American principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre.

Screw Wednesday — Misty Copeland is officially our #WomanCrushEveryday. If you didn’t know her from the ballet, where she just made her debut in Swan Lake, you might recognize the 32-year-old from her #fitspirational Under Armour ad campaign. Or from her memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. Or perhaps from Times 100 Most Influential People cover.

It’s time to give the dancer a huge toast, because she’s accomplished her longstanding goal: her company, the American Ballet Theatre, announced she’s been promoted to principal dancer — a first for an African-American woman.

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Copeland, who has more than 500,000 Instagram followers, has also appeared as a dancer on tour with Prince, appeared in a Diet Dr. Pepper commercial and recently walked the red carpet at the Tony Awards. But her Under Armour campaign might be her most recognizable effort to date, especially for non-ballet patrons. After it debuted last year, the ad got 4 million YouTube views in less than a week.

Besides ABT’s upcoming season, in which she’s the first African-American woman to dance the lead in Swan Lake, there is also a documentary about her life, A Ballerina's Tale, slated for this year. Congratulations to Copeland!