On September 10, 1982, a queen was born! Misty Copeland turns 39 this year, and her impact on the ballet world cannot be overstated. On June 30, 2015, Black history was made as Copeland became the first Black woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre's history. And even though she didn't start her ballet career until the age of 13 — ancient by ballet standards — she was still considered a prodigy whose career was closely monitored by the intelligentsia in American theater. And, thankfully, she did not disappoint.
Today, we take a look at six things to love about Misty Copeland. Of course, there are many, many more reasons — but these are our top picks.
1. Her Essence cover
'Nuff said. What a serve.
2. Her insistence that ballet be more inclusive
Misty Copeland doesn't believe that diversity in ballet begins and ends with her. "Just existing in the ballet world and coming from the background that I have is a struggle," she said to USA Today. "I want to bring different cultures and different communities to be a part of this world."
3. Her Under Armour Campaign
4. Her man — who is not in the industry, thank you very much
Misty Copeland is married to corporate attorney Olu Evans, and they live on Manhattan's Upper West Side. They were set up by Evans' cousin, Taye Diggs!
5. Her ability to be a muse for Prince
When Prince needed a muse for his "Crimson and Clover" video, he called up Misty Copeland directly on her cell phone. "I was asked if Prince could have my cell number,” she said. “I was literally still waking up. ‘What? Prince who?’ ”
6. Her lack of Diva-tude
"The majority of us in the company have literally grown up together," she said to USA Today. "It's definitely more of a family than rivalry. Of course, when you're competing against each to be the next one promoted, to be given a certain role, there may be tension. A lot of the people that I work with today, I've been dancing with since I was 16 years old, and I'm now 31. It would be odd if we just hated each other for that long, and spent more time with them than your own family. We definitely have a very strong bond between ballet and American ballet. It's a very special thing to be a part of such a historical company."