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Misty’s Story

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“I wouldn’t be Misty Copeland, a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, if it wasn’t for them (the Boys & Girls Club).”

Misty Copeland attended her first ballet class when she was 13 years old at the San Pedro Boys & Girls Club. In 2015, Misty became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater. Her story is a testament to our belief that anyone can overcome obstacles, reach their full potential and accomplish greatness.

Despite her financial and emotional struggles, Misty describes the San Pedro Boys & Girls Club as one of the few places that she felt comfortable. At the age of 13, she was persuaded to join a dance class offered at the Club. She was an immediate standout and quickly began to become noticed for her talent and her potential. She received national attention with her numerous awards and went on to  receive a scholarship to the American Ballet Theater’s summer program. She joined the junior studio company in 2000 and then the senior troupe in 2001. Today in addition to her continued success with the American Ballet Theater, she is an accomplished author, a sponsored athlete for Under Armour, has her own Barbie doll, and has been cast in the lead ballerina role in the upcoming Disney film, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

Misty continues to have one of the most inspiring alumni stories, as she keeps motivating our current members and is a constant reminder that despite any obstacles they may face, they can accomplish their dreams.

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