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As the newest principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland continues to spread more of her “Black Girl Magic” to young dancers everywhere in A Ballerina’s Tale, a stirring documentary that takes an intimate look at her life and 15-year journey in the industry.

“What was so great with the documentary was that we wanted to steer away from that. We didn’t want to tell my story. I grew up in California. Really an average upbringing. When I stumbled into ballet at a really late age at 13 we were living in a motel. It gave me a voice, it made me feel beautiful and confident. It gave me a career.”

On a black woman dancing with a black woman’s body:

“That’s a lot of what I wanted to touch on in this documentary…body image. It’s a universal story. The story is something so many people can relate. I wanted to share on this platform, the black ballerinas that came before me.”

On the importance of mentorship:

“I felt so alone and lost and I was doing this all by myself in New York City…it was so important to me to have people around me that looked like me.”

A Ballerina’s Tale opens in theaters today.

Click the link above to hear the entire interview.

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(Photo Source: Courtesy, Misty Copeland’s Facebook and Instagram)