Misty Copeland made history this week when she was promoted to principal dancer of the American Ballet Theater, making her the first African American woman to hold the position in the company’s 75-year history.
Copeland has spoken candidly about issues of race in the ballet world before, which earned her a great deal of new fans and introduced more people to ballet, and her performances were some of the most popular at the company in the past few years.
She also appeared in a wildly popular Under Armour commercial that settled the question of whether or not ballet was a sport.
Here are 5 cool facts about Misty Copeland.
- Six and a half million people saw live ballet in 2014. Almost eight million viewed her Under Armour commercial online.
- Copeland is the first ABT African-American ballerina to perform the lead role, Swan Queen, in Swan Lake.
- As a little girl, she choreographed performances to Mariah Carey’s earliest hits.
- Prince invited Misty to dance in his “Welcome To America” tour.
- She was recently asked to speak about diversity at Goldman Sachs.