Misty Copeland Surprised 13-Year Old Corbin Holloway With a Scholarship on NBC's "Little Big Shots"

Looking for some Monday motivation? Then this heart-melting clip from the NBC's "Little Big Shots" is for you.

Hosted by actress Melissa McCarthy, the show welcomes remarkable kids from around the world to share their talents and stories onscreen. A new episode released yesterday, May 17, featured 13-year-old ballet dancer Corbin Holloway, who performed a fiery version of Basilio's Act III variation from Don Quixote .

Afterwards, Holloway was joined by Misty Copeland, who not only overflowed with pride and support, but surprised the young dancer with a pair of signed pointe shoes... and a $10,000 scholarship. "I know how much hard work and sacrifice goes into being a dancer, as well as being a boy, and being a brown boy and being in ballet," said Copeland. "Your strength and your humility and your dedication... it's setting an example for so many to come after you."


Holloway, who celebrated his 13th birthday earlier this month, trains at the Bethesda, Maryland–based CityDance Conservatory. His short career has already garnered him ample success: Last year he won the Youth America Grand Prix Hope Award, and performed in the competition's Lincoln Center gala. He also qualified for the 2020 New York Finals, which were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Holloway attended American Ballet Theatre's 2019 Summer Intensive on a full scholarship, and was then awarded a National Training Scholarship from ABT's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, which funds the following year's intensive in full and provides an additional training stipend. Copeland received the same scholarship in her youth, making her connection with Holloway all the more special. "It was an exciting experience to be on 'Little Big Shots,'" says Holloway. "I hope I'm able to inspire other boys to do ballet and dance."

The entire episode of "Little Big Shots," featuring Holloway alongside other child stars, is available here.

Latest Posts


Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Fancy Free" (1981)

In Jerome Robbins's 1944 ballet Fancy Free, three sailors on leave spend the day at a bar, attempting to woo two young women by out-dancing and out-charming one another. In this clip from 1981, Mikhail Baryshnikov, who was then both the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre and a leading performer with the company, pulls out all the stops to win the ladies' affections.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Bethany Kirby, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

An Infectious-Disease Physician on What Vaccines Mean for Ballet

As the coronavirus pandemic grinds into its second year, the toll on ballet companies—and dancers—has been steep. How long before dancers can rehearse and perform as they once did?

Like most things, the return to normal for ballet seems to hinge on vaccinations. Just over 22 percent of people in the U.S. are now vaccinated, a way from the estimated 70 to 85 percent experts believe can bring back something similar to pre-pandemic life.

But what would it mean for 100 percent of a ballet company to be vaccinated? Tulsa Ballet artistic director Marcello Angelini is about to find out—and hopes it brings the return of big ballets on the big stage.

"I don't think companies like ours can survive doing work for eight dancers in masks," Angelini says. "If we want to work, dance, and be in front of an audience consistently and with the large works that pay the bills, immunization is the only road that leads there."

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks