She was Prince’s muse, a former member of President Obama’s Council of Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, inspired a documentary, starred in a Disney film…and so much more. As the first African American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland is a legend. She broke the ballerina mold and fought for diversity on and off-stage and reached the top of her field. Today, she’s shining worldwide with her virtual ballet Masterclass. It’s no shock that Breitling chose her as one of their spokeswomen for the launch of their first Chronomat Ladies Collection. Below, Copeland opens up about her groundbreaking ballet career, Black Lives Matter, and being a Breitling ambassador.
Life in Motion : An Unlikely Ballerina (Paperback)
How did you start dancing?I was around four or five. It was just around the house. My mother was a professional cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs football team when she was 19 so she grew up with very minimal training in ballet, jazz, and tap. She would dance around the house a lot. Music and dance were a big part of my household and I don’t mean any formal dancing. This was just dancing to pop music, hip-hop, R&B, and soul. There was a lot of chaos. I was one of six children in a single-parent home, and we moved a lot, often didn’t have a home, often were sleeping in other people’s homes or in motels. Music became this escape for me from the reality of my upbringing.Do you remember the moment when dance became your passion?One of the most powerful moments for me was around the age of seven. Mariah Carey released her debut album. It was a really empowering moment to see a biracial woman who was extremely talented, and I connected with her in a way that I didn’t fully understand until I was an adult. Seeing yourself represented is so important and impactful. Her music motivated me to choreograph, even though I didn’t know that was what I was doing. I started to make up dances to her music, and that was when I started to really get involved and feel like this is a way of expressing myself.What were you like as a little girl? I hated speaking! I was so shy and introverted. Dancing was a way for me to express myself. And that was how I got on track to eventually having ballet in my life, which was when I was 13.What happened next?I auditioned for the dance team at my…