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Misty Copeland Responds To 'Swan Lake' Shade With All The Grace Of Her Dance Moves

by Blavity

misty-copeland-responds-to-swan-lake-shade-with-all-the-grace-of-her-dance-moves

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Misty Copeland is the symbol to young, black ballerinas who look to her as what they dream of becoming. She is the epitome of breaking barriers in a world that doesn't cater to people who look like her. 

She is also ... human. 

The American Ballet Theatre principal dancer portrays the Swan Queen in Swan Lake, arguably the most iconic and coveted role for any ballerina. According to Cosmopolitan, Copeland was to perform 32 fouettés (turns) en pointe toward the end of the show, in what would be a riveting climax. However, as the feat is quite difficult, she was only able to complete twelve.

Ballet experts took to social media to lambast Copeland, according to Teen Vogue. How did Copeland react to the vitriol? 

Well, she thanked them! 

In a display of utter grace, the history-making ballerina posted a screenshot of one of the harshest criticisms she received on Instagram, along with an endearing caption. 


Link in my profile. I’m happy to share this because I will forever be a work in progress and will never stop learning. I learn from seeing myself on film and rarely get to. So thank you. I will always reiterate that I am by no means the best in ballet. I understand my position and what I represent. I know that I’m in a very unique position and have been given a rare platform. All I’ve ever wanted is to bring ballet to more people and to help to diversify it. I’ve worked extremely hard to be where I am and I believe that what I bring to the table is authentic artistry with a unique point of view through my life experiences, and my unusual path and upbringing. Also as a black woman and black ballerina. I would love to see all of the incredible deserving black dancers get the opportunities that I have. I will forever be humbled and extremely grateful for the fact that I get to do what I love for a living, that I get to do all of the incredible roles that I do, in particular Swan Queen. There are so many ballerinas that never get to experience dancing the most iconic and demanding role in a ballerinas repertoire. I have so so so much respect for what I do and for the ballerinas I stand on the shoulders of. I’m in awe everyday that I am a part of such an incredible art form that has changed and enriched my life in so many ways and that I get to do it all with ABT. I don’t decide who’s promoted or what roles I dance. I never envisioned myself as the Swan Queen after being in the company for almost 15 years before i was given the opportunity. I have such deep and conflicting feelings connected to Swan Lake. As a black woman and as a ballerina given the chance to take on this role. I often question if I deserve to perform this role. My conclusion, I do. Some of the most memorable Swan Queens in history have brought so much more to this role without having to present the incredible and evolved technique of today by doing insane tricks that bring some to see Swan Lake. For the anticipated 32 fouettés. But it is so much more than that.

A post shared by Misty Copeland (@mistyonpointe) on

"I’m happy this has been shared because I will forever be a work in progress and will never stop learning," Copeland wrote. "I learn from seeing myself on film and rarely get to. So thank you. I will always reiterate that I am by no means the best in ballet. I understand my position and what I represent. I know that I’m in a very unique position and have been given a rare platform. All I’ve ever wanted is to bring ballet to more people and to help to diversify it."

Photo: GIPHY
Photo: GIPHY

"I’ve worked extremely hard to be where I am and I believe that what I bring to the table is authentic artistry with a unique point of view through my life experiences, and my unusual path and upbringing," she continued. "Also as a black woman and black ballerina. I would love to see all of the incredible deserving black dancers get the opportunities that I have."

Further, she posted the performance video and linked it in her Instagram bio. Like a bawse! 

"I never envisioned myself as the Swan Queen after being in the company for almost 15 years before i was given the opportunity," Copeland concluded in the caption. "I have such deep and conflicting feelings connected to Swan Lake. As a black woman and as a ballerina given the chance to take on this role. I often question if I deserve to perform this role. My conclusion, I do. Some of the most memorable Swan Queens in history have brought so much more to this role without having to present the incredible and evolved technique of today by doing insane tricks that bring some to see Swan Lake. For the anticipated 32 fouettés. But it is so much more than that."

That part.

Photo: GIPHY
Photo: GIPHY

Go, Misty, go! 




This post was originally published on Blavity.com.