Misty Copeland has leapt from the American Ballet Theater stage to an everyday name as Under Armour’s new spokesperson. Under Armour has now placed a bet that has paid off, as Copeland has now been promoted to principal dancer for ABT, thus pushing her further into the spotlight.
Earlier this week the Inquisitr reported that Misty Copeland was named the first black principal ballerina at ABT, a position that she has worked hard for throughout her career.
“My fears are that it could be another two decades before another black woman is in the position that I hold with an elite ballet company,” penned Misty in Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. “That if I don’t rise to principal, people will feel I have failed them.”
During Sports Business Journal’s Intersport Brand Engagement Summit in Chicago, Under Armour president Kevin Plank credited Misty Copeland for making Under Armour’s 2014 ‘The Year of the Woman.”
“Her story of perseverance is something which is so incredibly Under Armour,” Plank said on May 27. “I think it’s defining of what and who our brand is. We followed up with the story of Misty. There were 13 million YouTube views on it. It was a really commercial success for us.”
But Misty Copeland is rising even beyond a top Under Armour endorsement, as she is being compared in the ballet world as the best thing in the dance world since Mikhail Baryshnikov, and she is now credited with breaking the color barrier in ballet, which has been full of thin, petite women with no curves.
In an article for Thinkprogress.org, Washington Post dance critic Sarah Kaufman explains that Misty Copeland couldn’t help but rise above old ballet thoughts about race because she is that good.
“Nobody could say that a better dancer got the top job if Misty Copeland was in the room.”
“It’s not like it’s not being discussed in the ballet world, or that it hasn’t been discussed up to this point,” Kaufman added, citing panels and conferences she’s attended where discussions are dedicated to race and representation in dance. “Artistic directors know it’s an issue. But when it comes down to really pulling the trigger and hiring someone… looking at the result, you’d have to say, there is a race factor.”
Misty Copeland's first ballet teacher speaks about the principal dancer's early days http://t.co/gOnoklP9iS— HuffPost Lifestyle (@HPLifestyle) July 3, 2015
So it would seem like this is just the beginning for the career of Misty Copeland. Stay tuned for her next adventure.
Do you think Misty Copeland has changed the dance world forever?