Speaker Misty Copeland
Speaker Misty Copeland

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Misty Copeland



Misty Copeland is a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, the first Black woman to be promoted to the position in the company's 75-year history in 2015. She has performed some of the most iconic classical ballet roles, including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; Juliet in Romeo & JulietGiselleManonCoppelia; Kitri in Don Quixote; and Firebird, to name a few.

Misty has been featured in several publications, including the cover of Time Magazine for the Time 100, as well as the covers of ESSENCESelfELLE South Africa, Oxygen and Women’s Health. She has also appeared on CBS' 60 MinutesCBS Sunday Morning, ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's The Today Show and Little Big Shots, celebrating extraordinary young people.

She made her first awards season guest performances in 2019 with Taylor Swift at the American Music Awards and at the 2020 Grammy Awards alongside Camilla Cabella, Common, Ben Platt, and dancers from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, as well as the televised Prince Grammy Tribute performing with award-winning recording artist H.E.R. Misty made her Broadway debut in On The Town in 2015 and her major motion picture debut in Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in 2018.

Misty started her production company, Life In Motion Productions, and is working on her first project, Flower, a silent arts activism film using dance to help raise awareness about homelessness. She is also featured in an episode of MasterClass, the online series.

Misty is an avid philanthropist and is an ambassador of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, of which is also an alum, and MindLeaps, an arts education program based in Rwanda that helps young people get off the streets and into an academic setting to help enhance their lives.

She is the New York Times bestselling author of Life In Motion, Ballerina Body, Black Ballerinas, and a picture book titled Bunheads. She is also author of the award-winning children's picture book, Firebird. Misty’s newest book, The Wind At My Back, in tribute to her late mentor and friend, pioneering ballerina Raven Wilkinson, publishes November 2022.

She is the New York Times bestselling author of Life In Motion, Ballerina Body, Black Ballerinas, and a picture book titled Bunheads. She is also author of the award-winning children's picture book, Firebird, which served as inspiration for the Misty Barbie™️ doll and an upcoming animated series she is developing through her company, Life in Motion productions in partnership with Eric Rollman and Ann Austen.

Featured in: KEYNOTE - Icons in Conversation: Sonia Manzano x Misty Copeland

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