The Coco Swan Is My Spirit Animal

Misty Copeland.  Misty, Misty, Misty.misty20photo20nisian20hughes

There’s so much to say about this powerhouse of a human being, yet so little space.  As the world has come to learn, Misty Copeland was promoted to principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre.  The first black one ever in the company’s existence.

I couldn’t contain my delight at the news of this woman reaching her lifelong dream.  Did you hear me? Her lifelong dream.  Then, to see her first interview post announcement, where when asked what’s her next dream, she responded with, “This is it.”  Wow.  Wow. Wow.  SHE IS THE TRUTH.

There’s power in her being the first black woman in this position, but I couldn’t help but to think of the fact that she has a well-documented history of being tenacious in her pursuit of that principal spot, and overcoming quite a few obstacles aside from race.

She started in ballet late (age 13), she’s a bit of a brick house (traditionally seen as a bad body type for a ballerina), and she came from a financially tough background (ballet is expensive as hell).  Not to mention she was willing to leave her home and mother as a teenager to take every opportunity that would get her closer to her goal.

misty_copeland01-300x4001Misty is the prototypical Shy Peacock in my eyes.  She spreads her feathers when she’s onstage and allows the world to witness her grace and athleticism, but she tucks them away when it’s time to get back to practice and puts in her work.  She focused intently on an aspiration and she didn’t get derailed by anything.  Even popularity.  She did dance with Prince for goodness sake, and she survived, because we all know he has a way of encapsulating his female muses, and for good measure, she did this bomb ass Under Armour commercial, but she remained faithful to her calling.

And she’s over 30. She’s 32 to be exact.  She’ll be 33 in September.

My age.  Now I really have no excuse for giving up on anything I want to do.

I’m excited for her because it makes me excited for myself.  We are living in difficult times, especially black women, and we need a ray of light like this sometimes.  In the midst of burning black churches being ignored by the media, Misty Copeland’s dream coming true for us all to see is refreshing.  On top of the fact that she just flat out deserves it and it keeps us in a space of understanding that we all deserve the feeling of happy completion.  Maybe she’ll do more.  Hopefully she’ll follow in the footsteps of Muva Debbie Allen or Alvin Ailey, and start a dance company.  Who knows?

Please sistas and brothas, cheer her on.  We can only expect goodness for ourselves when we lift others up when they receive it.  It’s been nice seeing people be almost moved to tears when hearing about that little black girl from California becoming an important ballerina.  Click here if you want to learn more about Miss Copeland’s story and see some dope pictures of her in action because she gives all types of life on her website.  Drop some comments below.  I want to talk about what this whole thing signifies for you.  What does it make you feel?  Let me know.

Misty-Copeland Flying High

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