Misty Copeland Talks Importance Of Being A Black Ballerina In Disney’s ‘The Nutcracker’

"Eventually little kids are going to look at that and say 'oh that's what a ballerina looks like.'"

Misty Copeland continues to shed light on the importance of representation. Speaking about her role as the “ballerina princess” in Disney’s new movie “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” the cultural icon said her character will “live on forever.”

In an interview with the Associated Press at the premiere of “The Nutcracker” in Los Angeles on Monday, Copeland said that having a black ballerina in the Disney movie is important for young people and future generations.

“I just think it’s so special that as a black ballerina, my character is going to live on forever in this film and eventually little kids are going to look at that and say ‘oh that’s what a ballerina looks like,’” she said.

Copeland, who has long championed efforts to increase black representation in ballet, became the first black woman in history to be promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre.

Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston – and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale – is set to hit theaters Nov. 2.

Along with Copeland, the cast for the holiday feature film includes Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy and Morgan Freeman.

“It’s amazing to have this traditional story being told through Disney and to be able to bring me into it, a character as a ballerina, to really introduce all of the characters in the film, to the four realms,” Copeland said in a video published to Instagram on Tuesday.

While holding Disney’s picture book, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: The Dance of the Realms, Copeland said proudly: “There’s a brown ballerina on the cover of the Nutcracker and the Four Realms Disney book.”

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