Chicago dancers inspired by Misty Copeland's success

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Young Chicago dancers are inspired by Misty Copeland's success as she becomes the first black woman to be promoted to principal with the American Ballet Theater.

Superstar ballerina Misty Copeland is an unlikely ballerina in the critical eyes of age-old dance culture.

She's not tall, not slim, and is African American, but the Missouri-born ballerina is breaking the mold as she becomes the first black woman to be promoted to principal with the American Ballet Theater. She was told by many it was an impossible dream.

Dancer Tashicka Flowers is training with Ballet Chicago. The 18-year-old said she was inspired by Copeland's story.

"Sometimes it's discouraging if you don't look like everyone and but, yeah, she's definitely helped me out because she is different and muscular and curvy," Flowers said.

Almost every dancer has had moments of doubt, and many here at Ballet Chicago can identify with that. They say Copeland helps them believe anything is possible.

"I think seeing videos of these beautiful, really, really slender dancers - it's very pleasing to the eye, I would say, but I'm never gonna look like that and I think to know that someone who is my height can make it in a dancing world it's wonderful," dancer Dana Coons said.

Copeland, 32, has become increasingly famous and was just named by Time magazine as one of the most influential figures of 2015. She's blazing a trail for African American dancers, both male and female.

Dancer Kramer Snead has been watching her very closely in the racially-underrepresented world of dance.

"I think what it says is just, like, if you have the dream for it, just keep going for it," Snead said.

Related Topics:
entertainmentballetAfrican AmericansdanceChicago - Downtown
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