Misty Copeland became the first Black principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre in 2015, and through her professional career that has spanned two decades, she’s been fighting for change. “Initially, I got into ballet because it’s a silent art form,” she said on Yahoo Finance’s Influencers with Andy Serwer. “I didn’t want to speak, I wanted to express myself through movement.” The first decade of her career, she was the only Black woman in American Ballet Theatre, and she described feeling a sense of panic where she questioned if she was ever going to see another Black woman in her company or in her lifetime, even.
This realization prompted Copeland to start using her voice when it came to the racial insensitivity and inequality in the ballet world, with the hopes that she could make change for generations to come. “Black ballet dancers, our histories are so often just