If you didn't know the name Misty Copeland before, you're about to—the famed ballerina was just promoted to female principal dancer by American Ballet Theatre. And while that's an honor in itself, her new gig is also historic. Copeland is the first African-American to hold the position in the company's 75-year history.
Her promotion is a long time coming: The dancer has been with the American Ballet Theatre for almost 15 years, and has spent nearly 8 as a soloist. But she's far more than a ballerina. Copeland recently appeared on the cover of Time magazine, has written a memoir and a children’s book, presented a Tony Award at this year's ceremony, starred in a viral campaign for Under Armour, and currently has over 524,000 Instagram followers.
"I’ve been a part of the company for 15 years, and you don’t usually think about how you’re a part of a bigger thing," Copeland told us at the American Ballet Theatre’s 75th Anniversary Spring Gala last month. "I love how ABT has brought classical ballet to America. I’m so proud, and it’s been my dream company ever since I knew what ballet was." It looks like her dream is coming true all over again.