Inspired: A Conversation with Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland dancing

Northrop welcomes Misty Copeland, the first African-American woman elevated to ballet’s highest title of principal dancer in New York’s American Ballet Theatre, for a ticketed discussion and fundraising event on Sunday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m.

The program will feature Copeland's personal story of overcoming hardships as a young girl, her rise in the world of ballet and beyond, and her commitment to empowering youth worldwide. The master of ceremonies for the event is Robyne Robinson and Lea Thompson, an actress and Minnesota native, is a special guest.

“Northrop’s youth programs give thousands of Minnesota K-12 students access to world-class dance presentations each year, as well as opportunities to engage in a personal way with the artists who perform,” said Kari Schloner, director of Northrop. “These experiences have lasting impact on the young people we serve, just as Misty Copeland’s experience with ballet at age 13 had a lasting impact on her. Misty’s message is in perfect alignment with Northrop’s vision and is a shining example of how the boundless power of arts and education ignite transformation in each individual, inspiring positive change in our world.”

Attendees' donations at “Inspired: A Conversation with Misty Copeland” go toward introducing Minnesota youth to high-quality learning experiences and improving access to the arts. Northrop partners with local K-12 schools, corporations, foundations and community organizations to present international performances of the highest caliber, engaging discussions and educational activities to Minnesota youth. Examples of Northrop’s youth programming include master classes and activities for K-12 students; free busing; low-cost ticket opportunities for K-12 classes to attend; and providing study guides and activities that follow Minnesota Department of Education standards.

Learn more about Northrop’s youth programs at

Sponsors of “Inspired: A Conversation with Misty Copeland” are HGA, PNC Bank and RBC Wealth Management.


About Northrop
Rooted in the belief that the arts are essential to the human experience, Northrop is committed to cultivating intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come. Northrop presents world-class dance and music performances, speakers, films, exhibits, and more.

About Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland began ballet at the age of 13, where she illustrated her raw talent and ambition that led to her winning The Music Center’s Spotlight Award at 15 years-old. She joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company in 2000 and American Ballet Theatre’s corps de ballet in 2001. Misty was promoted to soloist in 2007, the first black woman to earn the title in more than two decades, and to principal dancer in 2015. She has performed many lead roles, including “Firebird,” Clara in Alexei Ratmansky's “The Nutcracker,” “Giselle,” “Coppelia,” Kitri in “Don Quixote,” Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake,” and Juliet in “Romeo & Juliet.” Copeland has been featured on the covers of Time, Essence and SELF magazines and in the pages of Vogue, InStyle, and Cosmopolitan. She is an ambassador of Under Armour, with her own Misty Copeland Signature Collection, and Estee Lauder, and has authored several books, “Life In Motion,” “Firebird,” “Ballerina Body,” and “Your Life In Motion: A Guided Journal for Discovering the Fire In You.”

In addition to her professional career, Copeland has worked with many charitable organizations and is dedicated to mentoring young girls and boys. Visit for a full bio.

Misty Copeland is Breaking Barriers in Ballet video.
High-resolution photos of Misty Copeland.

Media Contacts

Katrinna Dodge
University Public Relations
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University of Minnesota, Twin Cities