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Misty Copeland on How Race Informs Her Art, and Her Activism

The dancer sits down for a Q&A as part of Bloomberg’s new “Black in Focus” series. 

Misty Copeland interview

Trail-blazing ballerina Misty Copeland is adding “executive producer” to her repertoire. The 38-year-old dancer, who became the American Ballet Theatre’s first female Black principal half-a-dozen years ago, has begun work on a film to raise awareness about homelessness through her Life In Motion production company. 

Copeland took up ballet at the relatively advanced age of 13 — within three months she went en pointe, and by 15 she had won awards for her dancing. But that success came with the stark realization that her exceptionalism wasn’t confined to her technical skill.