Misty Copeland Just Posted A Mean Tweet About Herself, And We Love Her So Much For It
Misty Copeland's Instagram feed is usually filled with gorgeous performance shots and inspirational images featuring the many young girls she's inspired.
So we were surprised this morning to see Copeland post two screenshots of a mean tweet about herself:
The tweet refers to a video of Copeland performing Swan Queen last week in Singapore, where she wasn't able to finish her 32 fouettés (she was criticized for doing the same thing when she debuted the role in 2015). Copeland has linked to the video, entitled "Misty Copeland Swan Lake Fouetté Fail," in her Instagram bio.
Why would ballet's biggest star want to promote a video of herself messing up, and a tweet saying that she doesn't deserve to be in American Ballet Theatre?
Because she's bravely proving some important points:
1. Fouettés don't matter.
"A ballerina's career is not, nor should be defined by how many fouettés she executes," Copeland writes. As she says, she's an authentic artist who brings so much more to the role of Swan Queen—or any role—than tricks and technical feats. The point is to move people through the steps; not just to execute them perfectly.
Fellow ABT principal Isabella Boylston puts it best in the comments: "If people come to the ballet only to see fouettés they should just stay home and watch them on YouTube on their couch."
2. She's held to a higher standard than other dancers.
Becoming the first black female principal at ABT wasn't easy. And it didn't come without baggage.
"I understand my position and what I represent," she says. "I know that I'm in a very unique position and have been given a rare platform. All I've ever wanted is to bring ballet to more people and to help to diversify it."
The truth is that principal dancers at prestigious companies mess up all the time. But when other dancers fall out of a turn or flub a step, you usually don't hear people talking about how they don't deserve to be where they are. She's judged more harshly because she's become so famous for being a groundbreaker—and because she's black.
3. Dancers are real people with feelings!
And they'll see the mean tweets you write about them. Have some respect for what they do before judging them on one performance.
(Of course, Copeland is so classy that she thanks her hater for giving her an opportunity to learn from watching video of herself.)
4. Even big stars mess up.
Copeland is a role model to so many, and she takes that responsibility seriously. She's proving that it's okay to acknowledge your failures and imperfections—in fact it makes you stronger. Especially for ballet dancers, it's essential to realize that you don't have to be perfect to be amazing.
We're seriously in awe of Copeland for having the courage to stand up to her haters.
Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.
"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."
Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.
Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:
We knew that Ivo van Hove and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's production of West Side Story would challenge our preconceived notions about the show.
But a recent Vogue story gives us a taste of just how nontraditional the Broadway revival will be. Most notably, van Hove is cutting "I Feel Pretty" and the "Somewhere" ballet, condensing the show into one act to better reflect the urgency of the 48-hour plot. (The choice has been approved by the West Side Story estate, including Sondheim, who has "long been uncomfortable" with some of the "I Feel Pretty" lyrics.)
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.