Ballerina Misty Copeland Talks Ballet, Being A Role Model

This week is National Boys & Girls Club of America week! I had the honor and pleasure of being joined for an interview with famed ballerina, Misty Copeland who got her start in ballet at the Boys & Girls Club of America at the age of 13. Misty discussed how the Boys & Girls Club shaped her life, where she thinks she’d be without the renowned club, and how you can be a positive influence on youth, especially during National Boys & Girls Club week (April 7th through the 13th).

 

Famed ballerina Misty Copeland joined journalist and blogger, Candace Rose Anderson of the website Candie Anderson to discuss how the Boys & Girls Club of America changed her life. Image courtesy of Twitter
Famed ballerina Misty Copeland joined journalist and blogger, Candace Rose Anderson of the website Candie Anderson to discuss how the Boys & Girls Club of America changed her life. Image courtesy of Twitter

 

Misty Copeland On How She Got Started In Ballet

Candace Rose Anderson: How did you get started in ballet?

Misty Copeland: “Through the Boys & Girls Club. I was a member of the Boys & Girls Club in San Pedro, California. I think I was about 11 when I first joined, and at the age of 13 they were giving free ballet lessons at my local Boys & Girls Club, and I took my first ballet class on the basketball court. I was brought into the local ballet school on full scholarship, and four years later I was dancing at American Ballet Theatre and here I am!”

How Misty Copeland Fell In Love With Ballet

Candace Rose Anderson: Was ballet something that you fell in love with immediately?

Misty Copeland: “Immediately. I didn’t have any knowledge of ballet before the Boys & Girls Club, but as soon as I stepped onto a stage I was sold and was all I could ever think of doing with my life.”

 

Misty On Being A Positive Role Model For Youth

Candace Rose Anderson: What does it take to be a positive role model for youth?

Misty Copeland: “It’s something that I’m really thinking about. It’s important for me, being one of the few African American females in this position as a classical ballet dancer. I think it’s important for me to carry myself in a positive way and be a positive example, because who knows when there’s going to be another one to come along so I feel like I have to be this positive light for people to see.”

 

How To Encourage Youth In Our Communities

Candace Rose Anderson: What are some ways we can encourage the youth in our own communities in a positive way?

Misty Copeland: “Well, definitely through this week, it’s National Boys & Girls Club week starting April 7th  through the 13th, so just being a part of the community and reaching out to your local Boys & Girls Clubs and just learning about how much they can offer a family, a family overall. And parents learning about how much they can help their children with their education, with healthy eating, all of these things.

I think by simply reaching out to your local Boys & Girls Club, especially during this week is the right way to start.”

How The Boys & Girls Club Impacted Her Life

Candace Rose Anderson: How has the Boys & Girls Club of America impacted your life?

Misty Copeland: “They’ve changed my life, I think. I definitely would not be where I’m at now had I not been a member. It was such a positive place for me and my five siblings to be when my mother was working as a single parent. I can’t imagine where I would be without it. It was just this positive place for us to be with amazing examples around us. I don’t know where I’d be without it.”

 

Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?

Misty Copeland: “Yes, you can learn more about National Boys & Girls Club week, you can take a virtual tour online at GreatFutures.org/BGCWeek.”

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