Jayme Thornton

We already know that Misty Copeland—who needs no introduction, but OK: American Ballet Theatre principal, trailblazing role model, all-around superstar—is an excellent dance show judge. Her turn on the "So You Think You Can Dance" judging panel back in Season 11 impressed dance fans everywhere. Obviously any professional dancer is going to have a leg up (sorry) when it comes to critiquing technique, but Copeland's feedback on "SYT" was particularly smart, incisive, and illuminating. (Remember when she told Rudy to think of his legs as tree trunks rooted in the ground, so he could better hold up the "flowers"—aka his partner?)

That's why we're very excited to report that Copeland is putting her judges' hat on again, this time for NBC's "World of Dance."

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Misty Copeland and James Whiteside in Swan Lake (photo by Gene Schiavone)

The dual part of Odette and Odile in Swan Lake is THE role, the one every trina dreams of from the moment she first dons a leotard. It's also insanely difficult to perform, challenging even the most elite ballerinas with its multifaceted demands.

So what's it actually like to dance Odette/Odile? A new short film from American Ballet Theatre goes behind the scenes with three Swan Queens—principals Misty Copeland and Isabella Boylston and soloist Devon Teuscher—to find out.

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What's one of the most important differences between ballet dancers and "normal" athletes? Misty Copeland says it best: "We're working like professional athletes are, and most of those athletes have state-of-the-art buildings and the environment they're in is very high end. We don't get the same funding and things like that as professional athletes and teams. So it's difficult."

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If you need a heartwarming bit of news today, look no further. American Ballet Theatre principal (and idol of budding ballerinas everywhere) Misty Copeland stopped by The Steve Harvey Show the other day to surprise a group of young ballerinas, and the result is giving us #allthefeels.

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Would you like to absolutely drown in beauty today? Yes? Of course you would. And we've got just the video for you: "Now More Than Ever," created by Ezra Hurwitz for the Ballet Across America festival, which is currently underway in D.C. The four-minute fantasia features American Ballet Theatre stars Isabella Boylston, Stella Abrera, James Whiteside, Marcelo Gomes and Calvin Royall III performing ravishing bits of choreography in, on and around the historic Kennedy Center.

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I can't say I'd ever heard of Smithsonian magazine before a few days ago, but let me tell you now, guys: I am SO GLAD they exist. Because their latest issue brings us tons of wisdom straight from the mouth of one Misty Copeland—you might have heard of her?

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This week's #FridayFire goes out to the one and only Misty Copeland. Video of a very young Misty performing on pointe after just ONE YEAR of training has surfaced, thanks to one Gary Junken.

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Team Barbie has been on a roll recently, amirite? After giving us Barbie dolls in several different, closer-to-real-life shapes back in January, this morning Mattel introduced a doll that dance fans can really get behind: the Misty Copeland Barbie.

Image via

This isn't just a run-of-the-mill Barbie in a ballet costume. Copeland herself was apparently very much involved in the doll's design, helping Mattel create a new "ballerina body" in her own likeness. (Including, it should be noted, pretty nice feet—though no doll is going to live up to Misty's incredible real-life physique.) The Barbie's fashion was even inspired by Copeland's costume for the title role in Alexei Ratmansky's Firebird, one of her first principal parts.

Misty and mini-Misty (and one gorgeous engagement ring) (photo via Mattel, Inc)

Copeland appeared on "Good Morning America" today, accompanied by some very cute baby ballerinas, to announce the new Barbie. (She also spent a few moments paying tribute to Prince, who counted her among his special muses, and talking about her Jason Wu dress for tonight's Met Gala.) Watch the clip here:

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