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Ballerina Misty Copeland: ‘You Should Be Impatient’ For Change In The Dance World

By | April 19, 2023

If you admire the beauty and grace of ballet, then you have probably heard about the talented Misty Copeland. As the first African American female principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty has been breaking down barriers and inspiring the next generation of dancers. In this blog post, we will delve into Misty’s journey to the top, the challenges she has faced along the way, and why she believes that change in the dance world is not just necessary but urgent. As Misty herself says, “You should be impatient” for change – so let’s explore what that change could look like.

Ballerina Misty Copeland: ‘You Should Be Impatient’ For Change In The Dance World


Misty Copeland, the first African American woman to be appointed as a principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre, has become an icon in the dance industry. Her outspoken passion for mentorship and diversity in the world of ballet has inspired many aspiring dancers to realize their dreams, no matter their race, background or body type. Copeland recently sat down with ForbesWomen editor Maggie McGrath to discuss the importance of mentorship and diversity in the world of ballet – a conversation that everyone should hear.

Why Mentorship Matters

Mentorship can be the key to success for many young dancers, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. Copeland recalls her own struggle to find a mentor who could guide her through the complexities of the ballet world. She attributes her success to the many mentors who have supported her throughout her career. Mentorship, according to Copeland, helps young dancers build confidence, develop skills, and gain access to opportunities that may otherwise be out of reach.

The Importance of Diversity

Copeland has become an advocate for greater diversity in the dance industry. While the ballet world has historically excluded dancers of color, Copeland is determined to change that. She recognizes the barriers that exist in the industry, but she refuses to let them deter her. Copeland is pushing for the ballet world to embrace a more diverse range of dancer body types and to include more diverse stories and representation in performances. She explains that diversity isn’t just about numbers but also about creating a culture of inclusivity in which all dancers feel valued and supported.

Taking Action

Copeland stresses that action is needed to bring about real change in the dance world. She encourages all dancers, regardless of their experience or status, to advocate for greater diversity and representation in the industry. Copeland believes that every dancer has a responsibility to speak out against discrimination and to bring new voices to the table. She urges dancers to be “impatient” for change and to continue pushing for progress until they see it happening.

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Misty Copeland’s advocacy for mentorship and diversity in the dance world is a beacon of hope for aspiring dancers everywhere. Her passion for the art form, along with her conviction that all dancers should have access to opportunities, provides inspiration for young dancers who may feel discouraged or excluded. We should all take note of her call to action and redouble our efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive world of ballet.


  1. How can dancers find mentors in the ballet world?
  2. What are some of the challenges facing dancers of color in the ballet industry?
  3. What advice would Misty Copeland give to a young dancer who faces discrimination or exclusion?
  4. Can anyone become a member of Forbes?
  5. What other coverage does Forbes offer besides business and entrepreneurship topics?