Bringing Diversity to Ballet

Carolina C., Columnist

Ballet superstar Misty Copeland brings a new program, called Be Bold, hoping to bring more diversity and inclusion to ballet. A lack of diversity and inclusiveness has been something she has struggled with for her entire life. Misty Copeland started learning ballet at the late age of thirteen at a free program on a basketball court. She has returned back to her memories of these days to create a new free program to help bring inclusion and diversity to the art. 

Throughout Misty Copeland’s ballet career, she has worked hard to break racial barriers, becoming the first African American to hold the role of the primary dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. Despite this great accomplishment, Misty Copeland struggled due to her race and financial difficulties for most of her life. She thinks back to when she started dancing on a black top after school and hopes to create “an after-school dance program for children of color…The Be Bold initiative will make ballet more accessible, affordable and fun,”(Kim). 

Now, Misty Copeland strives to make sure everyone can be able to get the opportunity to enjoy the art itself. She wants to make sure every kid is included, no matter their race or their financial status. She also wants ballet to be enjoyable for the kids, for she does not want to have a program that brings people down or stresses dancers more. Instead, she hopes to introduce a fun and playful environment for the children to learn how to dance without being discriminated against. 

The Be Bold program does not only offer ballet classes, but it includes many other lessons to boost the knowledge of kids in the arts. “The program will provide lessons on the basics of ballet, music, and health as well as offer tutoring and mentoring. It will take place in Boys & Girls Club centers and similar community-based, child-serving sites” (Kim). 

Ballet isn’t the only inaccessible thing for a lot of families, but music in general has been lacking minorities. This program will help kids by giving them musical opportunities in their lifetime. Music is very important to society and culture, so giving the option to have kids learn about music for a lower cost is an honorable endeavor. The Be Bold program is beneficial to kids who don’t have the chance to learn about the fine arts since it brings them enrichment that they have been prohibited for generations. The Be Bold program will hopefully bring more kids to dance and music, as that is Copeland’s main goal. During her early years in ballet, Misty Copeland was been made fun of and laughed at because of her looks and body image. According to others, she was too “bulky” to be a ballet dancer. Misty wants to make sure kids don’t have to face this same issue while dancing, and that everyone should be included and praised for who they are. She claims that she wants everyone to understand that beauty is not always how pretty someone looks or how talented they are. Beauty is what comes from within, and that is what the arts are all about. She wants people to understand the value of the arts as a whole, and how hard she has worked to make her dream, and others, a reality. Misty says, “But my mission, my voice, my story, my message, is not for them. And I think it’s more important to think of the people that I am influencing and helping to see a broader picture of what beauty is.” (Kim).


Kim, Juliana. “Misty Copeland Launches A Program for Kids to Encourage More Diversity in Ballet.” Npr, National Public Radio Inc., 17 September 2022. 



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