Ballet Star Misty Copeland Returns to San Pedro, Raises $75K for Homecoming Program

By Ian Holubiak on Dec 28, 2015 07:19 PM EST
2015 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards - Backstage Ballet dancer Misty Copeland poses for a photo at the backstage inspiration wall at the 2015 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall on November 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo : Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Glamour)

Last week Misty Copeland's homecoming in San Pedro, California, is yet another reflection of how the American Ballet Theater's principal dancer is reaching out to young people and reshaping the image of the arts, from magazine covers to a $75,000 homecoming.

When Copeland returned home, she was greeted with the unveiling of an intersection named in her honor. Copeland, who traveled to San Pedro to teach a master class, has inspired an entire generation of dancers having been named ABT's first black female principal dancer and by also appearing on Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People of 2015 as well as Time's 100 Most Influential People.

And in her hometown she is idolized even further. A studio, standing in the aptly named Misty Copeland Square, aims to raise up to $100,000 to expand its DancEd Steps Up program -- and of which raised more than $75,000 of that in just one visit by the ballet superstar through donations and ticket sales.

The program is geared to help children without arts education programs, providing them with a free multiweek dance series.

Such a program is the vein of the dancer's creed, an ideology that boasts the Ms. Copeland's ability to overcome the adversity placed on her throughout her entire career.

San Pedro Councilman Joe Buscaino told a crowd of 200 strong:

"America loves their ballerina. San Pedro loves its ballerina. Misty Copeland is being celebrated because we recognize the degree of difficulty life has dealt her. She is the perfect example of why America is great."

But Misty Copeland hasn't slowed, her momentum continues onto social media where she is able to connect with 82,000 Twitter followers and 800,000 Instagram users, where a young generation seeks her counsel on the difficult issues of achieving what you most desire.

She's also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, during which Kimmel bluntly asked: "Is it correct to say you saved ballet?"

And while she was modest and declined, here's the kicker: She has.

So while Copeland continues to be an inspiration to many, check out a preview of her documentary A Ballerina's Tale below.

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