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Misty Copeland is our shero.

As the principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre, Misty is a shiny example of perseverance, talent and determination. The decorated dancer covers the September issue of Essence in all her beautiful Black girl glory and if you haven’t heard her story by now, you may want to pick up a copy.

“I never knew it was going to get to this level,” she says in the glossy. “There are a lot of times when I wish it wasn’t so much. But I wanted this type of exposure for the dance community. I wanted it to be an opportunity for me to educate people and get them to become ballet fans and to educate them on what it means to be a Black dancer—a Black ballet dancer…”

Misty is gorgeous as she soars through the air (formally called an “attitude derriere”) in a flowing Zimmermann gown.

Head over to Essence for more photos.


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