Along with most of America (it seems) I can't stop feeling captivated by media coverage of Misty Copeland--I've watched this ad about 20 times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY0cdXr_1MA. I am transfixed by this elegant, strong and beautiful dancer. I keep following her story, trying to grasp how it was ever possible that anyone tried to dissuade her from being what she was clearly meant to be, a successful ballerina. Many of us celebrated along with Misty when she recently made history as the American Ballet Theatre's first African-American principal dancer.
If the importance of this moment is lost on anyone I believe Copeland sums it up quite nicely here : ‘I talk about it because it hasn’t changed. Until I can see America represented in the American companies, we have to have the conversation. The people who say, ‘Oh, just let it go,’ they don’t understand what it means for someone who looks like me to look at me and be able to see their future.'
This quote speaks to the importance of role models and the people who pave the way to make sure that the next generation has them. We never know the degree to which young people are watching and listening to us for guidance and acceptance. Let's make sure we never give them a reason to feel like who they are and what (or whom) they love is wrong. Let's make sure that our example gives them the strength to be comfortable with themselves and the confidence to reach for their dreams.