Misty Copeland was a child without a home, now is the soloist of American Ballet Theatre

A life on the points, a career full of successes and, recently, even a position among the most influential people in the world according to the American weekly Time. But Misty Copeland, 32 years and a solo role in the prestigious American Ballet Theatre in New York, is now also a symbol, an embodiment of a dream.

Yes, because to see her today, woman and professional, on the most important stages of the world certainly does not imagine a little African American girl with no means and little hope. Misty was born in Kansas City, Missouri, is in fact grew up in a poor family. Her childhood in the motel rooms where she slept with her parents and five brothers, always fleeing from poverty.

The discovery of the dance, of shoes and tutus came only 13 years. Very late to a path like that of the classical dancer. But after only three months and Misty is already on the tips, three years again and prizes begin flocking. The study, expensive, can proceed then only thanks to grants and to an adoption that will separate temporarily from the family. Then come the work experience, so the world-famous.

Today Misty Copeland is the only African-American soloist of American Ballet Theatre. And her history, anything but simple, is a successful fight against poverty, she fought with blows of pirouettes. But it is also a challenge to ironclad aesthetic canons, those who see African-American artists end up, generally, in the rear.

The art and the Misty body have managed, however, to establish themselves in and out of theaters. On social, Misty On Pointe is much followed. And the commitments are no longer limited to the ballet: Copeland has, in fact, published an autobiography titled Life in Motion. She also signed a book for children, Firebird, which is a hymn to pursue own dreams.

This is, moreover, a constant figure in the life of Misty Copeland: yesterday improvising in an after-school and was noted for her graceful movements, now is a star of the ballet and extremely popular, fashion spokesperson. She is, for example, the face of the viral campaign of Under Armour, I will what I want, very popular on the web.

But the most recent success of Misty is in Swan Lake: the latest production of The Washington Ballet sees, in fact, Misty Copeland in the role of Odette. “People are so used to a certain type of dancer for certain roles it is incredible to be a black swan,” Copeland said in a BBC interview. The challenge is always pushing the limits, get where it seems impossible.