25 years before Misty Copeland became ABT’s first African-American principal ballet dancer, Lauren Anderson was the first “brown girl” to be made principal at Houston Ballet. In a special Houston event, the pair came together to answer questions about their lives as dancers and the challenges of being black ballerinas in a still, traditionally white art form.
African-American ballet dancers
A brown swan in the very white world of ballet, Misty Copeland painted her skin a different color in order to play roles in Giselle and Sylvia. 1957? 1977? Nope – 2007. Leigh Purtill looks at Misty’s memoir Life in Motion.
Dance Advantage contributor, Roger Lee reflects on Black History Month, focusing in particular on a time when dance, along with the rest of America, was segregated. Giving a brief history of ballet dancer and pioneer, Arthur Mitchell, Roger expresses the inspiration that Mitchell and other trailblazers have provided for young black dancers like himself.