When she's not bike riding in Brooklyn or hanging with friends, Mo can be found writing news, op-eds and feature stories for HelloBeautiful.com. As a proud black feminist, Mo's writing credits include The Root, For Harriet and The Feminist Wire. She has also frequently appeared on Arise TV as a cultural and political commentator. @MoniqueEJohn
Misty Copeland is out here making history like it’s nothing! This gorgeous ballerina just got promoted as a the first Black female principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater. Copeland has spent the last eight years as a soloist for the company.
For days, social media has been buzzing with pictures of Copeland being embraced by Lauren Anderson and Raven Wilkinson, after one of her performances as the lead, Odette/Odile, in Swan Lake. Copeland made history in this role as well, as she and her co-star, Brooklyn Mack, were the first Black pair to perform as the lead roles in a mainstream production of Swan Lake.Anderson was the first African-American principal dancer at Houston Ballet and Wilkinson is the famed dancer of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from the 1950s.
Copeland has long spoken out about her goals to make it as a principal dancer for the company. It’s also no secret that Black women struggle to get lead roles—if roles at all—in the ballet world, so we’re all super excited about her big win. Congrats, Misty!