Misty Copeland took her first ballet class at age 13 and performed as Clara in the Nutcracker eight months later. Four years after that, she joined the American Ballet Theatre as a corps member, and in 2007 she became the company's only black female soloist. She was also the first in decades, only the third in the company's history, and has for years been the only black woman dancing in the company at large.
You came to ballet late, at age 13; the first time you came to the barre, you were wearing gym clothes. What did those first experiences feel like?
I initially felt like a fish out of [...]