Misty Copeland Makes History

Misty Copelandwas named principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre becoming the first African-American woman to reach that status in the company's 75-year history.

“I’m just so honored, so extremely honored,” Copeland said today during a news conference. “My dream has been ABT (American Ballet Theatre) since I was 13. Now I feel like I can breathe.”


Copeland, whose new role will start August 1, was widely expected to be among the three women selected as principals this year. Copeland has performed many principal-level roles recently, including the female leads in "Romeo and Juliet" and "Firebird," but at the rank of soloi

This year, Copeland was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People and was featured on its cover. She has been with ABT for 14 years, eight of them as a soloist. With her acclaimed lead performance in “Swan Lake,” she became the first black woman to dance the demanding dual roles of Odette/Odile in New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. She has also written  a best-selling memoir, “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.”

-Devashree Goenka