Ballerina Misty Copeland Talks About How to Survive in the Dance World and Darren Aronofsky's 'Black Swan'

By Jaime Prisco on Dec 30, 2014 05:38 PM EST

Misty Copeland recently spoke to Business Insider about what it takes to survive in the dance world, how she keeps herself disciplined and how her life is not really like Darren Aronofsky's 2010 psychological thriller Black Swan.

“With the ballet world, you have to have a certain type of personality to succeed,” Copeland said. “You have to push yourself beyond what a normal person in there everyday life would not want to do — physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Copeland has become more then a ballerina. She is now a public figure. Still reeling from her widely successful Under Armour campaign, Copeland defied the odds by becoming the second black woman to become a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre. Getting to this point, however, was not easy. Copeland, who only began taking ballet lessons at 13, was heavily criticized for her not-so-average ballet body. With a full bust and curvy waistline, Copeland is the perfect spokeswoman for achieving your dreams even when they seem impossible.

When asked about Black Swan, she said her life is nothing like the film. Like any other professional athlete, she has a rigorous training schedule in addition to her daily performances in The Nutcracker.

“There are parts of those crazy things that dancers have, traits that people kind of embellish and create this really crazy world that we live in and I think that's what happened with Black Swan,” she said.

Currently, she is also preparing for her roles as Juliet in Romeo & Juliet and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake.

“Ballet is such an incredible and beautiful world to be a part of and I always say that I feel like it saved my life. If it were anything like Black Swan, there’s no way I would want to be a part of it,” said Copeland, laughing.

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TagsBallerina, Misty Copeland, Dance, Ballet, Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan, Under Armour

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