Ballerina Misty Copeland sat down with National Press Club President Jeff Ballou earlier this week for an in-depth conversation on her latest works.
Copeland is mostly widely known as the first African-American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, but she is now also a three-time author with the March release of her latest book, “Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger.”
During the conversation, Copeland discussed how the book is a guide for making healthy nutrition decisions (even offering suggestions for neighborhoods experiencing food desserts, a common problem in many minority communities) and simple ways to add more physical movement to our daily lives.
The appearance also came just ahead of her Ballet Across America series she curated with Justin Peck, which is now running at the Kennedy Center through April 23rd. Copeland explained that the show will celebrate innovation and diversity in American ballet, two themes close to her heart.
Copeland doesn’t shy away from how being a black woman shapes her world personally and professionally, and that the lack of diversity she sees in ballet is concerning. In addition to this series, Copeland also spoke of her work with Project Plié, a comprehensive initiative to increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet companies across the country.
— Jenny Vasquez (@JennVasquez_DC) April 17, 2017
Copeland also addressed recent controversy when she spoke out against statements Kevin Plan, CEO of her sponsor Under Armour, when he offered eyebrow-raising support of embattled President Donald Trump. Copeland explained that she derived that Plan’s words were taking out of context and that her speaking out has actually brought her an Plan closer together.
— Nicole Greene (@4healthywomen) April 17, 2017
When asked about life as a newlywed, Copeland insisted having work-life balance is key and she credits much of her success to having longtime partner and now husband since last summer, Olu Evans. She even volunteered that Evans has helped shape her healthy eating habits.
It might have something to do with Copeland’s second love to dancing, cooking. When asked what she would be doing if it weren’t for dancing, she said she would likely be a chef with a mean cauliflower crust pizza on the menu.
Photo and article by DC Fab! contributor Whitney Stringer.