As an honoree, Copeland has chosen to highlight Project Plié, the ABT diversity initiative that includes a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. That's fitting, given that Copeland has become the #1 role model for young minority dancers everywhere—and that she took her first-ever ballet class at her local Boys & Girls Club in San Pedro, CA.
“I was the only African-American woman at ABT for a decade, and so much of what I do now is mentoring young minority dancers and trying to be a support system for them," she told Variety. "It feeds me as an artist and as a person, and I learn more and more about myself and what’s lacking and what needs to be done in the professional ballet world.”
Click over to Variety for more gorgeous images of Copeland, and check out the magazine's impressively wide-ranging interview with her (including an oh-so-real discussion of her "signature moves" in the club) below: