A Day In the Life of Misty Copeland

Photos by Jim Lafferty

American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland imbues her roles with a fierce elegance. Last fall, Pointe trailed her through a busy day of class, rehearsals and a gala evening, and talked to her about some of her latest roles and projects. Copeland was preparing to begin rehearsals for the lead in Alexei Ratmansky’s new version of The Firebird, which ABT premieres in March in Southern California. “I  appreciate the chance to be pushed to the next level,” Copeland says. “I’ve worked for 11 years and feel like it’s finally paying off.” She has stretched herself outside the ballet world as well, performing in music videos and onstage with Prince. But throughout she has maintained her focus on ballet. “Whatever I’m doing and whatever jobs I decide to take, I want people to see that ballet is my priority,” she explains. “Being a black woman in my field, and starting at 13, I think a lot of people relate to my story. So I want to be a role model and always represent myself in a positive light.”

Copeland plans to launch a dancewear line, M by Misty, that features her designs, like the blue leotard she wears below in a La Bayadère rehearsal with principal Gillian Murphy. “It’s been hard to find leos that are both supportive and flattering. So much dancewear is not made for a woman with a bustline,” she says. Copeland is preparing the role of Gamzatti. “It’s intense because this character is so rich. She is wealthy, beautiful and confident, but also in a struggle regarding the man she loves. It’s one of my dream roles.”

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
Alexandra McMaster

Start Your Dance Day With This Delicious Berry Breakfast Crisp Recipe

When it comes to breakfast, I want it to be easy and convenient but still taste delicious. My Berry Breakfast Crisp is just that. You can bake the crisp on the weekend as meal prep, then enjoy it throughout the week cold or warmed in the microwave. It freezes well, too!

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Liam Scarlett with Marianela Nuñez and Ryoichi Hirano during a rehearsal of his Swan Lake at The Royal Ballet. Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH

Choreographer Liam Scarlett Has Died

Over the weekend, news broke that 35-year-old choreographer Liam Scarlett, a former artist in residence at The Royal Ballet, died suddenly at his home in England. "It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic, untimely death of our beloved Liam," Scarlett's family said in a brief statement. "At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy to enable us to grieve our loss."

The cause of death was not disclosed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks