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Misty Copeland On Breaking Through Ballet’s Color Barrier: ‘I Knew I Had A Bigger Purpose’

The American Ballet Theatre's first African-American female soloist in two decades tells us her story.

MTV’s Look Different campaign is always on the lookout for people who challenge everyday bias — and Misty Copeland is one of them.

In 2007, she made history by becoming the American Ballet Theatre’s third African-American female soloist ever, not to mention their first African-American female soloist in two decades.

Plus, she can do this.

And this.

Oh, and this.

SO. IN. AWE.

“I think that the ballet world is so far behind the rest of the world with growth and accepting diversity,” the 31-year-old ballerina told the Look Different campaign. “So, it’s kind of been something that I’ve wanted to do: bring diversity to the ballet world and educate people in this circle, this very small circle that is the ballet community, and show them that every ethnicity has the ability to be molded to be a part of this world.”

Related: These 7 Microaggressions Could Ruin Someone’s Day

“Once I reached the point of being promoted to soloist,” she added, “I knew I had a bigger purpose and that there were more eyes on me and that I had become a role model.” Watch the Look Different campaign’s interview with Copeland below.

Bad at filling out bios seeks same.