Misty Copeland, a 32-year-old ballerina who starred in an Under Armour ad and appeared in a Prince video, was named the principle dancer at the American Ballet Theater, becoming the first African-American woman to hold the highest ranking in the company’s 75-year history.
“I had moments of doubting myself, and wanting to quit, because I didn’t know that there would be a future for an African-American woman to make it to this level,” she said at a news conference after the annoncement. “At the same time, it made me so hungry to push through, to carry the next generation. So it’s not me up here—and I’m constantly saying that—it’s everyone that came before me that got me to this position.”
Copeland has appeared on the cover of Time magaazine and garnered a larger profile, in parts to her extraordinary talent and her outspoken desire to hold the top spot at the American Ballet Theater.