Junior Reporter: An Interview with Misty Copeland

January 11, 2018

Thanks to our friends at City Arts & Lectures, Xyza Junior Reporter Vihaan U. had the opportunity to hear from Misty Copeland, the first African-American Female Principal Dancer at the American Ballet! Best part? He got to ask her a great question. Nice job, Vihaan!

An Interview with Misty Copeland

by Vihaan U.

It’s Monday night, and my dad and I are right outside the marvelous Nourse Theater in San Francisco, California. We grab our tickets and sit down. Minutes later, Misty Copeland walks out on stage with Laurene Powell Jobs. They sit down, and Laurene asks the first question: “When and how did you get into the art of ballet?” Misty answers, “I was thirteen, and at my boys and girls club, there was a ballet teacher who wanted more diversity in her class. She was looking for black kids with the “ballerina body” for her class. She saw me, and I got in.”

Laurene also asks about how she got en pointe so fast. Misty says, “I was physically ready, and I was mentally ready as well.” She also jokes that “girls in the audience, don’t try going en pointe in the first six months. Wait two or three years.”

Laurene asks about Misty’s books, Firebird, Ballerina Body, and Life in Motion. Misty mentions her co-author while talking and also credits supportive people. Misty talks about her role as “the firebird.” and about how on performance day, black people lined up for the show. A stagehead asked, “Is that your family?” “No” she replied, which shocked many people back then.

Misty is also asked about her leg injury. She talks about her surgery and how she did floor bar so she could keep up her skills during recovery.

Finally, Laurene asks about becoming a professional dancer and how hard it was. Misty has quite a story to tell—she became American Ballet Theater’s first black professional dancer.

Next, it’s audience questioning time!! Here’s a video of my question!

Misty Copeland is a marvelous, funny person. We also learned that she likes to cook. I really enjoyed the show and hope I get this special opportunity again. Special thanks to City Arts and Lectures for the show, and to XYZA for the tickets and support.