Misty Copeland - American Ballet Dancer

Ballerina Misty Danielle Copeland makes ballet historyMisty Danielle Copeland (born September 10, 1982) is an American ballet dancer for one of the three leading classical ballet companies in the United States, American Ballet Theatre (ABT). In 2015, Copeland became the first African-American female principal dancer in ABT's 75-year history and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time.

Copeland is considered a prodigy who rose to stardom despite not starting ballet until the age of 13. By age 15, Copeland's mother and ballet teachers, who were serving as her custodial guardians, fought a custody battle over her. Meanwhile, Copeland, who was already an award-winning dancer, was fielding professional offers. The 1998 legal proceedings involved filings for emancipation by Copeland and restraining orders by her mother. Both sides dropped legal proceedings, and Copeland moved home to begin studying under a new teacher who was a former ABT member.

In 1997, Copeland won the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Award as the best dancer in Southern California. After two summer workshops with the ABT, she became a member of the Studio Company in 2000, a member of the corps de ballet in 2001, and a soloist in 2007. Stylistically, she is considered a classical ballet dancer. As a soloist since the autumn of 2007, she has been described as having matured into a more contemporary and sophisticated dancer.

Principal dancer - On June 30, 2015, Copeland became the first African-American female principal dancer in ABT's 75-year history. Although Copeland was groundbreaking, Arthur Mitchell is credited as the first dancer to break the color barrier as a principal dancer in 1962 and Desmond Richardson did so for ABT in 1997.

Copeland was featured in T-Mobile's ads for the BlackBerry in 2010. In January 2013, Dr. Pepper began airing an ad campaign featuring unique individuals such as Copeland. In the first quarter of 2014, she became a sponsored athlete for Under Armour, which paid her more highly than her ballet career. The Under Armour women-focused ad campaign starring Copeland was widely publicized, eventually resulting in her being named ABC World News Person of the week on August 8, 2014. The ad campaign was recognized by Adweek as one of The 10 Best Ads of 2014 where it was recognized as "The year's best campaign targeting women".
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