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Success is not easy and I think everyone should know that hard work and perseverance and being open to giving back are so much more powerful than stepping all over people to get to the top.
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You can do anything you want, even if you are being told negative things.stay strong and find motivation.
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The best piece of advice that I remember probably on a daily basis is to accept everything about me that is different. That is what makes me special.
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You can dream big and it doesn't matter what you look like, where you come from. - Misty Copeland Quotes
You can dream big and it doesn't matter what you look like, where you come from.
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My body is very different from most of the dancers I dance with. My hair is different than most I dance with. But I didn't let that stop me. Black girls rock and can be ballerinas.
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I think most people don't really understand all that it takes to stand on your toes, and to be able to jump and land without any noise, or for a male dancer to be able to lift a girl. All of these things look so effortless, but there's an attention to detail and years of training, as well as being able to transform into a character and being able to meld all of those things together.
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The path to your success is not as fixed and inflexible as you think. - Misty Copeland Quotes
The path to your success is not as fixed and inflexible as you think.
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Some people even think that I'm still just not right for it [ballet]. And I think it's shocking because they hear those words from critics saying I'm too bulky, I'm too busty. And then they meet me in person and they're like, you look like a ballerina. And I think it's just something maybe that I will never escape from, those people who are narrow-minded. But my mission, my voice, my story, my message, is not for them. And I think it's more important to think of the people that I am influencing and helping to see a broader picture of what beauty is.
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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.
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I just try to approach every opportunity on stage, as if it's my first time and my last time. - Misty Copeland Quotes
I just try to approach every opportunity on stage, as if it's my first time and my last time.
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I feel like I represent every young dancer, and even non-dancer, who felt they were not accepted by the ballet world. I'd like to think that they can see themselves in me.
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I had no idea what I was walking into, and the years and years of hard work it would take. I felt like an outsider and like it was never going to happen. But even if I would have known, I think I still would have done it. Dancers are perfectionists, and that's what keeps us going and growing.
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I think that training is the key, definitely, and I devoted my life to it. - Misty Copeland Quotes
I think that training is the key, definitely, and I devoted my life to it.
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There are muscles that we have in our feet that most human beings don't even know that we have. The strength that we have is so detailed.
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Ballet found me. I was discovered by a teacher in middle school. I always danced, my whole life. I never had any training, never was exposed to seeing dance, but I always had something inside of me.
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The woman represents ballet. She is most important, powerful and vital to it. Therefore, she is not "less than" a man. If anything she is "more than" in this field.
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Those people that don't see the power in art maybe have never been a part of an art, in a real way. To experience it, and to see and witness how it affects people, we're not doing it just to create professionals. It's to add another dimension to the way that children think and the way they experience certain things. If you didn't have dance, music and singing, it just seems so odd to me.
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I learned how to communicate and articulate myself from ballet. It's just insane to me, when they don't think of that as a part of our education.
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I haven’t come from the typical path or background of someone who would make it to this level as a ballerina. When it came to my childhood-growing up in a single-parent home, often struggling financially-my mother definitely instilled in me and my siblings this strength, this will, to just continue to survive and succeed.
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Something happens when you feel that energy and excitement from the audience. And you do, I don't know, four pirouettes. You jump higher than you ever have. And it's just this really magical thing that happens in those moments.
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I know I will never let myself be complacent in life. - Misty Copeland Quotes
I know I will never let myself be complacent in life.
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I will push myself in different ventures that I believe will make me a better artist, dancer and person.
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Going on stage and transcending the audience and becoming this otherworldly thing makes you a dancer. It's not so black and white.
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Different mentors throughout my life have supported and guided me to remember that I do have the strength, courage and talent to do whatever I want to do.
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I remind myself everyday just how lucky I am to do what I love! I feel so fortunate and I'm just trying to take my life one day at a time.
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It's difficult to exist as a woman, especially I think as a powerful woman. You want to stand strong and you want to be considered and equal.
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To be an artist and to be recognized by another artist who is, you know, just something you can't even put into words, someone that is so far beyond what the normal human being experience is in terms of creativity and originality. That was kind of a moment where I thought wow maybe I do have something more that makes me special.
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Ballet.something pure in this crazy world - Misty Copeland Quotes
Ballet.something pure in this crazy world
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I just want to leave a positive memory of setting an example and bringing our youth with us. - Misty Copeland Quotes
I just want to leave a positive memory of setting an example and bringing our youth with us.
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When you see the body outside of a costume and see the strength that it takes, people would look at dance a different way and see how athletic it is. You're not just born like that.
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I never knew I wanted to become a ballerina. I was discovered at the age of 13. I had a love for movement even though I had no exposure to dance other than what I saw in music videos, like hip-hop music videos. But I knew that I loved moving.
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I don't believe in dieting, I don't believe in having certain moments in your life where you're healthy and then moments when you're like, "I'm going to eat whatever I want." It's just finding what works for your body and always eating healthy.
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I do think Under Armour is setting a new example for what a ballerina is, and that you can be feminine and an athlete and represent what a woman is at the same time.
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I do think that it's a responsibility when there are so few of us as African Americans to kind of get to that place of success in a positive light. We should take a stance and stand for something and use that platform for positivity.
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I'm a classical ballet dancer, and at the end of the day I want to be with American Ballet Theater, performing classical ballets.
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Take advantage of the resources around you and the relationships you build!
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I shouldn't even be wearing a tutu. I don't have the right legs, my muscles are too big.
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For me, I was in school and I pushed myself to be a good student, just because that's the type of person I was, but I never had a connection to any of it. I don't think my brain functioned in a way that was at its height, when I was in school. I needed something like art to really value the way my mind works. I wasn't reaching my full potential by sitting in a classroom and reading from a book. My mind didn't work that way.
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Meeting Raven Wilkinson and having her as a mentor, it was that kind of support from the generations that came before me that helped to lift me up and give me the confidence to then be able to give back and bring other minorities with me on this journey.
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I think that I'm so fortunate to have found classical ballet. It completely changed my life and it shaped the person that I am today, on and off the stage.
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Just as a child, before I ever knew what ballet was, there was something in me where I was always searching for something structured, something that was bigger than me, and something so historical that I could be a part of. I didn't find that until I stepped into the ballet world, and it was overwhelming, the feeling of being a part of something that's bigger than you.
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Everything I was being shown was ABT, so I grew up watching these videos of [Mikhail] Baryshnikov, Gelsey [Kirkland] and Paloma [Herrera]. Paloma and Angel [Corella] were the first people I ever saw dance live.
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I'm a pescatarian, so I don't eat red meat or pork. So my dinners usually consist of seafood in some way. And maybe cookies after!
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My first ballet class was on a basketball court. I'm in my gym clothes and my socks trying to do this thing called ballet.
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I know that I'll forever be involved in ballet. This is where my life was meant to be, and I don't see myself straying completely away, ever.
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My goal has always been to be a principal dancer with ABT.
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Even if I weren't learning new roles and getting the opportunity to be coached by incredible people, I still think I would be so excited to have an opportunity to continue to push myself and grow, as an artist.
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But I think the more you eat healthy clean foods the more you create them.
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When people meet me in person, they're usually surprised at how petite I am because there's just [an] idea that because I'm black I just look a certain way.
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It's really amazing that I was discovered and that I've been given these great opportunities to travel the world and work with amazing artists. I'm very blessed.
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I think anything that affects me in my personal life is going to help me be a better artist on stage.
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Hopefully, I'll be a part of ABT, in some way, forever. I think I'll always be a part of ballet and try to push diversity, for as long as I live.
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The word "prodigy" was thrown around a lot, but I didn't understand what that meant, or the weight of it. It didn't really mean anything to me, until I was older and could look back on it.
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I absolutely love what I do. And I want to dance for as long as I can and feel good about what I'm putting out there on the stage. But my goal has always been to be a principal dancer with ABT. Before I knew that there had never been a black woman, that was always my goal. I wanted to dance Odette-Odile and Kitri and "Don Quixote" and Aurora in "Sleeping Beauty." So that's still my goal. But knowing that it's never been done before, I think makes me fight even harder.
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What makes people and companies and artistic directors and choreographers interested in working with dancers is the ability to kind of let go of everything you think you know and be a blank canvas.
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That it's possible to do positive things and I think that's how we're going to set an example to be respected as women in the world.
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A lot of people think, "Oh I'm going to eat whatever I want and then go to the gym." And I've definitely been one of those people and it just doesn't give me the results that I need to have the physique of a ballerina.
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Maybe I'm seeing myself in a different way than the people in the audience see me, 'cause to me, I think I look like a ballerina and I feel like a ballerina. But maybe I'm not seeing what other people are seeing.
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I think I always felt a connection to music and to movement. Growing up, I was surrounded by R&B and Hip-Hop, and the closest thing I could find to dance was gymnastics which I watched on TV.
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I believe that I definitely developed into a refined and graceful woman due to ballet. It has shaped me in every way.
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The fact that I was African American was never addressed, and that allowed me to just be a student, like anyone else. I was not aware of how rare it was to be an African American, how rare it was to have four years of training under my belt, and how, even though I could imitate people and fake it, unprepared I was to become a professional.
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I ended up training only for four years before I was accepted into American Ballet Theater in New York City.
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I never experienced getting nervous on stage. I think I was most comfortable there.
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Going on stage and doing ballet, for the first time, was even more verification of, "This is what I'm meant to do. This is what I'm going to do. I'm going to make it somehow."
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I don't think a lot of people really understand the commitment it takes to being a character that an actor in Hollywood would take to approaching a role that they're doing.
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My career came together very quickly. I only trained for four years before I became a professional, so I didn't have a lot of time to sit back and be inspired before I took my first ballet class.
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The higher you go up in rank, usually the longer you can dance.
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I'm definitely very careful about the things that I want to be a part of, but it's also important for me to get dance out there to more people.
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To have a platform like So You Think You Can Dance, where you're reaching this audience that's been created over the 10 years that they've been on the air. People who didn't know anything about dance and aren't going to go to the theater are learning about it, even if it's ballroom and jazz, by just turning their television ono. They're building this audience that's advanced and educated enough to introduce them to ballet.
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When I was younger, my feet would hurt a lot, but you build up calluses and strength and you don't feel as much pain there.
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I've gotten nothing but warmth from the Black community and positive feedback.
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I try my best to really think about things before I react and respond.
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I know that most of the time I have to work overtime to do everything that I want to.
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I will never reach perfection.
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I will never be the best dancer or artist. I will be growing until the day I retire.
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How difficult it is to exist, that we are athlete and artist. We have injuries. People don't see the hard side of being a ballerina. They just see this beautiful and effortless thing, and they assume it's easy and cute. I hate when people say it's cute!
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I absolutely love what I do, and I want to dance for as long as I can and feel good about what I am putting out there on the stage.
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I know there are a lot of eyes on me now from young girls, and it makes me so proud. The only Black woman examples aren't Rihanna and Beyoncé. It makes me proud that I am a classical ballerina and they can look at me and see another way to succeed. That is setting a new standard.
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I believe I am yet to dance my favorite role, but I am pretty open to adapting to different characters. I would love to be Odette in Swan Lake one day. I think that would be the ultimate role.
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I was 17 when I moved to NYC . I'm now 32. But I do know I can't see myself living anywhere else. I love the food, the fashion, art, the intelligence of this city and the people that live in it.
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