Saturday, October 30, 2010

Misty Copeland: an unlikely ballerina

This story reminds me of when I first started teaching in Newark. For our first production of The Nutcracker, I invited one of my former students from New York to play the Sugar Plum Fairy. When I told the cast about our guest dancers, one of my students replied, "Oh she must be white." When my former student, Jennifer, the Sugar Plum Fairy arrived that evening, my current student, Dajaita, who made the comment about Jennifer burst into tears. You see, Jennifer, was a dark skinned Dominican. Yes she was the same skin color as Dajaita. Through her tears, Dajaita blurted out - "OMG, she's beautiful and she looks like me!" Jennifer danced on pointe that evening and forever changed Dajaita's life.

Our students need more role models like Misty Copeland and Jennifer. Anything is possible if you just believe.

Misty Copeland: an unlikely ballerina, posted with vodpod


Anonymous said...

Misty Copeland's story and the story you shared are truly touching. In undergrad I was a Women's Studies Major at an HBCU so I am def motivated to hear stories about inspirational women of color making a difference. And for this story to take place in the arts!! OMG you've covered so many of my soft spots in one post. This was great. thank you for sharing!! Misty is a beautiful dancer and her work is truly admirable. Young girls of color should see her and view her as a role model for two reasons 1- never too late to start dreaming 2- your race or ethnicity does not have to hinder your dreams. It's truly beautiful. :)

Spencer said...

I think it's amazing the impact you have had on students lives; inspiring more young black dancers. Misty is a great dancer and inspiration; I enjoyed this post.