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Misty Copeland: 'You Can Be Feminine and Athletic'

From_the_ballet_Coppelia_cropped.jpg

Ballerina Misty Copeland says that body issues aren't just a dancer "thing."

In a new documentary called A Balllerina's Tale, Copeland talks about struggling with her self-image, what it's like to aspire for greatness and how she overcame obstacles to become the first black prinicpal dancer at the American Ballet Theater last June.

"I think [dancers are] much more in tune and aware because the body is our instrument and art and we stare at ourselves in a mirror all day, but I feel like it's something that every woman experiences and every girl experiences," Copeland told Elle magazine. "You can be feminine and an athlete and represent what a woman is at the same time."

The documentary follows Copeland's journey to the top and includes scenes from her performances and interviews with her supporters.

Setting a new example

Copeland says she hasn't always been "this perfect or strong ballerina" that the public may perceive her to be, and that it took time and support from her loved ones to reach the place she is today.

"I wanted people to see the difficult side of my story."

In August, Copeland starred in her first Broadway performance in On the Town, and she was on the cover of TIME 100 earlier this year.

When asked what keeps her grounded, Copeland credits her dancing.

"I feel like going to class every morning is so humbling. You're always working to improve, and you're always being critiqued on your next performance. It's not about what you've done. There's always room to grow."

Source: Elle

Image credit: "From the ballet Coppelia cropped" by Gilda N. Squire Gildasquire - Extracted from File:From the ballet Coppelia.jpg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.