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Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre

Misty Copeland made history when she was promoted to principal dancer of the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, becoming the first African-American ballerina to reach the elite dance company’s top rank.

Copeland, 32, has become an American icon, revered for her unlikely ascendance in an art world notorious for showcasing only lithe, white ballerinas.

And her star power has stretched far beyond dance, yielding larger and larger business opportunities off stage as her preeminence onstage has grown.

She has authored a best-selling memoir, was featured this year on the cover of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” and has starred in a viral Under Armour ad, twirling amid the reading of a rejection letter declaring she has “the wrong body for ballet.”

Read more about Misty Copeland in the Washington Post

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