Misty Copeland named first black female principal at ABT

Misty Copeland Named First Black Female Principal at ABT

NEW YORK (AP) — Misty Copeland has been named a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, the first black woman to achieve that status in the company's history.

The company announced the promotion on Tuesday, about a week after Copeland, who has become a strong voice for diversity in dance, made her New York debut in the lead role of "Swan Lake," one of the most important roles in a ballerina's repertoire.

The Missouri-born Copeland, 32, has become a celebrity in the past several years, making the cover of Time magazine and writing a best-selling memoir, "Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina."

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Misty Copeland named first black female principal at ABT
Misty Copeland attends the 2015 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
Honoree ballerina Misty Copeland attends the Time 100 Gala celebrating the Time 100 issue of the Most Influential People at The World at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: Misty Copeland attends the American Ballet Theatre's 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Spring Gala at The Metropolitan Opera House on May 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Filmmaker Nelson George (L) and ballet dancer Misty Copeland (C) speak onstage during the premiere of 'A Ballerina's Tale' during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 19, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Ballet dancer Misty Copeland attends the premiere of 'A Ballerina's Tale' during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 19, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: Spike Lee and Misty Copeland joke around as they attend the game between the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden on February 7, 2015 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 11: Ballet dancer Misty Copeland attends the Misty Copeland In Conversation With Vogue's Chloe Malle at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on March 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Carter Rinaldi/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 22: Misty Copeland attends American Ballet Theatre 2014 Opening Night Fall Gala at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on October 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Ballerina Misty Copeland attends the American Ballet Theatre opening night Spring Gala at Lincoln Center on May 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
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