Ballet Legend Misty Copeland To Share Story With Houston’s Inner-City Kids

Houston Ballet was home to the first African-American woman named principal ballerina in a major ballet company. That’s why it’s a big deal when Misty Copeland—the latest history-making dancer—comes to town.

Misty Copeland is the first African American principal dancer who became the highest ranking American Ballet Theatre ballerina.


Houston City Council Member Dwight Boykins said he got the idea of hosting ballerina Misty Copeland after she was named American Ballet Theatre’s first African American principal dancer last month.

So he got in touch with another ballet legend, Lauren Anderson. She was the first- ever African American woman to earn a principal role in a major ballet company while dancing with Houston Ballet in the 90s. Boykins jokes that if Anderson is the Michael Jordan of ballet, Copeland is LeBron James.

“So I called Lauren and I asked her, I said, ‘Lauren, do you know how to get in touch with Misty Copeland?’”  

Boykins’ plan was to bring Copeland to Houston to share her success story with a group of kids from his district’s Boys and Girls Club. Copeland’s humble beginnings in dance began through a program with the Boys and Girls Club in San Pedro, California.

The timing was perfect. It turned out that the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was planning to honor Copeland at their national convention in Houston this month. Boykins got in touch with her agent and arranged the event.

“She will not perform, but she asked me to make certain that we brought in inner-city kids from the Boys and Girls Club,” he said.

It just so happens that his district — District D — has a club.

“So we will make a special presentation to that group,” he added.

“A Conversation with Misty Copeland” is Monday at 4 p.m. at the Kingdom Builders Center, 6011 West Orem Drive. It’s open to the public, but Boykins encourages people to get there early. 

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