|Misty Copeland Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 2 in|
|Date of Birth||September 10, 1982|
Misty Copeland is a ballerina from the United States. She is signed with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) which is one of the main companies in the country. Misty became the first African American woman in 2015 to become ABT’s principal dancer in their 75-year history. In her free time, she likes to cook food and relax. Starting from 2014, she has released several books.
Misty Danielle Copeland
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Manhattan, New York City, United States
She has studied at Point Fermin Elementary School, Dana Middle School, and San Pedro High School in Los Angeles, California.
Ballet dancer, author
- Father – Doug Copeland
- Mother – Sylvia DelaCerna (Former Cheerleader and Medical Assistant)
- Siblings – Erica Stephanie Copeland (Older Sister), Douglas Copeland Jr. (Older Brother), Christopher Ryan Copeland (Older Brother), Lindsey Monique Brown (Younger Half-Sister), Cameron Koa DelaCerna (Younger Half-Brother)
- Others – Harold Brown (Stepfather) (Sales Executive), Robert DelaCerna (Stepfather) (Radiologist)
Misty is represented by –
- The New York Based American Ballet Theatre
- Squire Media and Management Inc.
5 ft 2 in or 157.5 cm
54 kg or 119 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Misty has dated –
- Olu Evans (2004-Present) – Copeland met American attorney Olu Evans through his cousin Taye Diggs, who is a Broadway star, in 2004. The couple dated for a long time and got engaged in 2015, which they disclosed as a cover story in Essence magazine. They got married in California on July 31, 2016, and visited the Maldives for their honeymoon. In July 2022, it was revealed that they had secretly welcomed their first child together, a baby boy named Jackson.
- Prince (2010) – Misty was introduced to musician Prince in 2009 when she worked on his musical projects. They were rumored to have had an encounter in 2010.
Race / Ethnicity
She has German and African ancestry on her father’s side and is of Italian and African descent on her mother’s side.
- Wide smile
- She has many moles all over her body.
Misty has done endorsement work for the following brands –
- T-Mobile (2010)
- Coach, Inc. (2013)
- Dr. Pepper (2013)
- Seiko (2015)
- The Dannon Company (2016)
- Under Armour (2014)
- Estée Lauder (2017)
Best Known For
Being a highly successful ballerina and the first African American female principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre’s history.
Misty was seen in the adventure fantasy film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in 2018 in the role of a ballerina.
First TV Show
Misty made her first TV show appearance as a guest on the talk-show Tavis Smiley in February 2011.
Being a top-rated ballerina, Misty has to always stay on top of her game physically. She starts her day with 90 minutes of ballet classes and then, rehearses for as much as 7 hours, 5 days a week along with doing cardio workouts in between. Like any other dancer, she has been plagued with her fair share of injuries. When she got injured in 2012 and was on hiatus, she turned to the ballet-inspired barre classes to maintain her technique and form.
Also, her diet played a huge role in her performance and agility. She began consuming mostly fish and veggies and limiting the intake of empty calories which, in turn, boosted her energy levels and helped her perform better.
Her everyday dietary intake looks as follows –
- Breakfast – She starts her day with a muffin or a bagel with scallion cream cheese and iced coffee.
- Lunch – Afternoon meal includes a spinach salad with pecans, goat cheese, dried cranberries, and a vinaigrette dressing.
- Dinner – She ends the day with fish like grilled salmon, roasted onions, carrots, and butternut squash with rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. She eats a dessert-like peanut butter cookies after the dinner and also drinks Prosecco (Italian white wine) occasionally to maintain balance in her diet.
Misty Copeland Favorite Things
- Role – Romeo and Juliet
- NYC Restaurants – Ed’s Chowder House, Landmarc, Café Luxembourg
- Style Icon – Nicole Richie
- Fish – Salmon
- Fruits – Grapes, bananas, blueberries
- Snacks – Sushi, serving of cheese
- Flowers – Orchids
- TV Show – Shahs of Sunset, Black-ish
- Place – Tokyo
- Ballet Step – Grand jetés
- Basketball Player – Charles Barkley
- Color – Purple
- Basketball Team – Phoenix Suns
Misty Copeland Facts
- Misty made the distinction of being the first African American female dancer to be promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year long history on June 30, 2015.
- In 2015, she was included in the list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time Magazine and appeared on its cover. In doing so, she became the second dancer only preceded by dancer Bill T. Jones in 1994.
- While studying at Dana Middle School, she became the captain of the drill team, along with being the sixth-grade class treasurer and the hall monitor.
- Her Dana drill team coach Elizabeth Cantine noticed Misty’s natural grace and poise and invited her to attend her friend Cynthia Bradley’s free ballet classes at the local Boys & Girls Club.
- She began learning ballet at the age of 13 at the San Pedro Dance Center where Bradley would pick her up from school due to her mother and sister’s busy work schedules.
- Only after three months of studying ballet, Misty nailed the en pointe – a position in which a ballet dancer can support their weight on the tip of their toes while wearing pointe shoes.
- As Sylvia wanted her daughter to stop with ballet, Bradley convinced her mother to let Misty stay with her (Bradley’s) family and she even offered to host her.
- Both mother and daughter signed a management and life-story contract with Bradley wherein Misty would spend her weekdays with the Bradley’s and her weekends at her mother’s place which was a 2-hour bus ride away.
- She won a national ballet contest and landed her first solo role by the time she turned 14 years old.
- She first caught the eyes of the media when her performance as Clara in The Chocolate Nutcracker at the San Pedro High School was attended by 2000 patrons. She achieved this feat only 8 months into her ballet training.
- Misty had a featured role in The Chocolate Nutcracker, an African American version of the famous tale, narrated by Debbie Allen. She performed alongside the L.A Academy of Fine Arts at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Her role was modified to include ethnic dances.
- A 15-year-old Misty won the first prize at the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards held at the Chandler Pavilion, in 1998. She admitted that it was the first time she felt nervous participating in a contest.
- The Los Angeles Times recognized her victory at the 10th annual contest, among the gifted high school students of Southern California, and named her as the best young dancer in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
- In 1998, she attended a summer workshop at the San Francisco Ballet School, which along with the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet are the three most eminent classical ballet companies in the U.S.
- During her 6-week workshop, she was placed in the most advanced classes and her tuition and expenses were covered under the scholarship program. She was offered the position of a full-time student at the San Francisco Ballet, but she turned it down with the hopes of performing with the American Ballet Theatre.
- In 1998, she was embroiled in a custody battle involving her mother and her custodial guardians – the Bradley’s. As Misty Copeland’s mother was resentful of her closeness with the Bradley’s, Copeland filed for emancipation from her mother. In reciprocation, her mother filed a restraining order against the Bradley’s, their five-year-old son, and the lawyer hired by Copeland.
- The case was heard in the Superior Court of the Los Angeles County. Misty eventually withdrew her petition for emancipation after her mother assured the court that Misty would always be able to dance. Both the emancipation papers and the restraining orders were dropped.
- Copeland began taking ballet lessons from the Lauridsen Ballet Centre with a new teacher, who was a former ABT dancer Diane Lauridsen.
- She performed with ABT as a part of its 1999 and 2000 Summer Intensive programs on full scholarships. She was named as ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000.
- In September 2000, she joined the ABT Studio Company and performed Pas de Deux in Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. But 8 months into her joining, she was sidelined due to a lumbar stress fracture.
- At 19 years of age, her puberty was delayed, which is common in ballet dancers. As a result, she was prescribed birth control pills which made her gain 10 pounds in one month. She became conscious of her large body and struggled with body image issues and binge eating disorder.
- After a positive comeback, she received rave reviews for her performances and was named as Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in the class of 2003.
- 2004 turned out to be her breakthrough year as she was included in the picture book by former ABT dancer Rosalie O’Connor titled “Getting Closer: A Dancer’s Perspective”.
- In 2004, she met her biological father for the first time since she was 2 years old.
- In August 2007, Misty became one of the youngest dancers to be appointed as a soloist at ABT.
- Copeland was selected by Essence as the 37 Boundary-breaking black women in entertainment. She received this honor during the Black History Month of 2011.
- Her performance in The Firebird, in March 2012, was hailed as one of the year’s best dance performances. She suffered from 6 stress fractures to her tibia after performing only once in New York and was out for the entire ABT season.
- In March 2009, she appeared in a music video with Prince for his single “Crimson and Clover” from his 2009 album “Lotusflower”. She also performed a pas de deux en pointe to his song “The Beautiful Ones” at the New York City and New Jersey portions of his Welcome 2 America tour.
- Misty has been included in the Vanity Fair’s 2015 International Best Dressed List.
- A black and white book titled “Misty Copeland: Power and Grace” was released in July 2015 by photographer Richard Corman. The book contains rich photographs of Copeland dancing at sunrise around and on a baby grand piano that had washed ashore under the Brooklyn Bridge.
- In February 2016, Misty was interviewed along with President Barack Obama in the first of a three-part video series with Time and Essence magazines. The topic of the interview included race, gender, achievement, and creating opportunities for young people.
- In 2016, she walked the runway at the New York Fashion Week in support of the Go Red for Women campaign by the American Heart Association to raise awareness about heart diseases in women.
- In 2011, she launched her own line of dancewear called M by Misty.
- She released a memoir in 2014 titled “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina“, which was co-authored by Charisse Jones. The same year, she published a children’s picture book titled “Firebird” with illustrator Christopher Myers. In 2017, her third book titled “Ballerina Body” on fitness and health was released.
- In 2016, the toy manufacturing company Mattel launched a Misty Copeland Barbie doll.
- Her ad campaign for the brand Under Armour in 2014 was named as one of the 10 Best Ads of the year and “The year’s best campaign targeting women’’ by Adweek. In July 2017, she was featured in a digital ad campaign for the brand.
- She has received innumerable accolades in her career including Glamour’s Women of the Year in 2015, Barbara Walters’s 10 Most Fascinating People of 2015, and ESPN’s 2015 Impact 25 for her contribution and impact in advancing women in sports.
- In 2014, she was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford for her contributions to classical ballet and promoting diversity in the art form.
- She received a Shorty Award in 2016 for being the Best in Dance in social media.
- Visit her official website @ mistycopeland.com.
- Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Featured Image by Malvina Calot / Flickr / Public Domain