Misty Copeland Gets Animated on "Peg + Cat"

Is there any arena that trailblazing, boundary-breaking, all-around-awesome American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland hasn't conquered? She's reached the tippity-top of the dance world; written one book and been the subject of another; launched her own dancewear line; tried her hand at acting (in the upcoming The Nutcracker and the Four Realms); and even helped design a Barbie doll in her likeness. And tonight—while the in-the-flesh Copeland will be busy with the opening night of American Ballet Theatre's fall season—an animated version of the celebrated ballerina will be guest-starring on the PBS Kids show "Peg + Cat."

If you're not up to speed on your cartoon programming, just know this: "Peg + Cat" is a) fantastic and b) a HUGE hit. It follows little Peg and her feline friend as they use their math and problem-solving skills to save the day—and tonight's episode, "The Dance Problem," centers on a ballet hopeful who has to overcome adversity to succeed. Sound familiar?

Copeland's animated alter-ego on "Peg + Cat" (PBS/The Fred Rogers Company)

Copeland appeared on "Good Morning America" today to talk about getting animated, getting married and getting onstage with ABT (her pre-show ritual includes a lot of Drake, apparently!). Watch the clip here—and be sure to catch Copeland's "Peg + Cat" episode tonight on PBS (local listings), and to catch Copeland onstage during ABT's fall season, which runs through October 30.

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(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

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Photo by Erin Baiano

Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.

Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."

Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?

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Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)

If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.

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