Monday Motivation — On Diversity
This Monday Motivation dance quote comes from a very motivated individual who didn't let any obstacles stand in her way as she blazed her own path and made history this summer becoming the first African American principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre. To honor this great achievement, we look at how dance impacted Misty Copeland's childhood and celebrate diversity!
This quote comes from an interview the Washington Post had with Misty Copeland backstage before a performance this past April. She impresses us as she speaks about perseverance, her relationship with ballet, responsibility, and more during a time that many people would be filled with pre-show jitters (we recommend checking out the full interview for even more insight and motivation). We are so excited for her success and happy that young dancers have such a great role model in this strong, talented, and smart ballerina.
We especially appreciate when Misty Copeland talks about dance and children since that is what we are all about! When she explains that she was a shy child and ballet "taught [her] to communicate and to be able to articulate [herself] in a way that [she] never could before," we felt so proud. We love that ballet is an expressive art form and can be such a positive influence on a developing child. Then she goes on to talk about her experiences feeling like she was an outsider, but learning "that it's okay to be different, it's okay to be unique, that you can set your own path." She personally knows the balance of children needing to belong but still being free to be themselves.
We strongly believe that the dance studio needs to be a safe place where all students are accepted. Children should feel free and open to dance and follow their imaginations. With Leap 'N Learn, we focus on establishing a secure, structured environment, which at the same time allows children be their unique, creative selves.
So a big congratulations to Misty Copeland on knowing it's okay to be different and for adding diversity to ballet and its audiences. And cheers to everyone who has taken their own path. May we all work at making our little dancers feel like they belong while celebrating their diversity!