Arts & Culture

Houston Welcomes History-Making Ballerinas

Ballerina Misty Copeland is receiving a warm welcome from Houstonians this week. Copeland — who is the first African-American woman to be named principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre — came to talk about her journey.

Misty and Lauren
Misty Copeland (right) and Lauren Anderson (left)

On Monday afternoon, the auditorium of the Kingdom Builders Center in Southwest Houston was packed with over 2,000 people of all ages and ethnicities.

Thirteen-year-old Madison Siclait came with her mom and three sisters to hear Misty Copeland’s story.

“She’s really inspiring. I mean, she got told ‘no’ so many times, but she never let that hold her back and it was so cool to hear her story,” Siclait says.

Some of the audience included kids from the local Boys and Girls Club – Copeland got her start at one of the clubs in Southern California when she was 13. She says it’s come full circle with the launching of a new program meant to recruit more black ballerinas.

“Starting with this diversity initiative, Project Plié, with ABT and with the Boys and Girls Club is like a dream come true. It’s like exactly how my path got started and it’s creating that same kind of idea for so many,” Copeland said in a pre-show interview.

Misty and Lauren
Misty Copeland (left) and Lauren Anderson (right)

Also at the event was former Houston Ballet dancer Lauren Anderson, the first-ever African American woman to be named principal dancer of a major ballet company. She gave Copeland some words of wisdom:

 “Stay true to yourself. Be honest in your dancing. Stay Misty. Bring them Misty. ‘Cause can’t nobody do Misty like Misty.”

A Conversation with Misty Copeland was moderated by Channel 13’s Melanie Lawson and hosted by Houston City Councilman Dwight Boykins.


Eddie Robinson

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