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American Ballet Theatre Launches Project Plié

Misty Copeland inspires Project Plié

Misty Copeland was discovered by a combination of luck, talent and being in the right place at the right moment. One afternoon while at the Boys and Girls club she was spotted by a dance teacher who noticed her build and pushed Copeland to study ballet at the age of 13.

By the age of 18, she was part of the American Ballet Theatre. She's now the first Black soloist in 20 years to dance with the company. She's the third Black female soloist in the company's history.

Now, the American Ballet Theatre is launching an initiative called Project Plié to attempt to strategically duplicate how to discover the next "Misty Copeland" and invest in her or his training and development. Described as a "comprehensive initiative to increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet and diversify America’s ballet companies." The program is made up of a combination of partnerships within the community and within the industry in addition to scholarships and opportunities for exposure for children of color. There's also an internship component to encourage more diversity on the executive level within professional ballet companies.

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