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:
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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.
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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.
Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer