Misty Copeland Guest Edits Our May Issue

It's time to add one more line to the list of Misty Copeland's accomplishments: Dance Magazine guest editor. That's right, the American Ballet Theatre principal—and ballet megastar—joined our team for the May issue.

Why Misty? Because she's got a perspective like no one else in the dance world today, and we wanted to get her view from the very top of the field. As guest editor, she gave us ideas for stories throughout the issue—everything from a feature on what to do when your director tells you to lose weight (something Misty's experienced herself), to how dancers can treat their career more like a business, to a Q&A with Mia Michaels about revamping the Rockettes' New York Spectacular.

Every time I've gotten a chance to interact with Misty, either through photo shoots or interviews, I'm always struck by the same thought: No wonder this woman is so successful. She is one of the most determined, yet generous dancers I've ever met. She'll work as hard as she can until she gets things right, but she's completely open to trying new ideas. It's clear why everyone from Under Armour to Prince hires her—in addition to her exceptional dance talent, she's simply an incredible collaborator.

From our photographer Jayme Thornton's Instagram @jaymethornton

Her work on this issue was no exception. She was a fountain of ideas, sending more and more when any plans fell through. She obligingly answered all my questions for an interview about what her career—and life—is like now that her longtime dream of becoming ABT's first female black principal has come true. She even indulged in some birthday cake we brought to her cover shoot, which happened to fall on the birthdays of both our photographer Jayme Thornton and makeup artist Angela Huff.

Check out how her issue came together: You can pre-order a single copy here, or if you subscribe now, your first issue for the year will be the May issue.

Breaking Stereotypes
Lindsay Martell at a class performance. Courtesy Martell.

More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:

"Is your daughter the dancer?"

"Actually," I say, "I am."

"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"

"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."

Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.

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Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:

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