Misty Copeland became the first African American to be named principal ballerina by the American Ballet Theater in its 75 years history, New York Times reports.
The 32 years old is active on issues of minorities and has enjoyed high profile coverage including grabbing a cover on Times Magazine, appearing in “60 Minutes” and presenting a Tony Award on this year’s telecast. She has also written a memoir and a children’s book, and has more than half a million followers on Instagram. An online advertisement she made for Under Armour has been viewed more than eight million times, and she was the subject of a documentary screened this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Among the prominent ballerina platform she has appeared in are the Metropolitan Opera house, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Early this year, she also starred in “Swan Lake.”
The ballet which originates from classical European is traditionally a white only affair, but over the years there have been inclusion of many non-white in the major ballerina theaters in Europe and North America to impart a more diverse cast as the world is embracing more diversity.
However, in the American Ballet theater, there is no principal non-white ballerina and Misty Copeland’s promotion will certainly add a new notch in an increasing diverse world where there are already black and caucasian Sumo wrestlers in Japan and many non-Asian Muay Thai kickboxers participating in the kickboxing contest in Thailand.