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September 21, 2017

“American Graduate Day” Welcomes American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland

This week, American Graduate Day taped a testimonial with American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, Misty Copeland.

WNET’s Mike Kostel, Amanda Granger and Jasmine Wilson from the American Graduate Day team met Copeland at WNET’s Tisch Studios at the Lincoln Center this week. Today she graces the stage with one of the world’s leading dance companies, but her first experience dancing points to a more humble beginning.

At the Boys & Girls Club, when Copeland encountered her first ballet class at 13, she was too shy to participate. The volunteer instructor took her by the hand and drew her in. After the experience, Copeland began dancing in the gym of the San Pedro Boys & Girls Club in California. Through these classes, she found her inspiring and dedicated mentor who guided her at the beginning of her career. She quickly made up for her late start, joining American Ballet Theatre just four years later.

Copeland is now the prestigious company’s first African-American woman principal dancer and committed to opening the door for more girls, no matter their age or background, to discover ballet. She also works with local Boys & Girls Clubs in the New York area.

This year’s American Graduate Day broadcast will examine the vital role mentorship plays through high school, and will explore diverse pathways to career success and workforce development opportunities. The AGD team also wants to thank all of those at WNET who are mentoring young people through the organization’s internship programs. Be sure to tune in on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 2pm to see Misty Copeland’s testimonial, and more great stories of mentors and champions!


Above: Amanda Granger, Misty Copeland, Jasmine Wilson and Mike Kostel.

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