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Style

Misty Copeland Is Breathtaking On September Cover Of Essence

She's got style and grace.

Whether she's dancing on stage or fronting a major campaign, ballerina Misty Copeland is always completely and utterly captivating. It's no surprise that the American Ballet Theatre star is wowing us once again by gracing the cover of Essence magazine's September issue.

Copeland looks breathtaking in a billowing Zimmermann gown as she gracefully strikes a mind-blowing pose captured by photographer Dennis Leupold.

“It was an easy decision for us to put Misty on the cover of our fashion issue. Not only is she gorgeous and a force to be reckoned with in the dance community, but she also realizes what this moment represents to so many," Vanessa De Luca, the editor-in-chief of Essence, told The Huffington Post. "Her story of defeating the odds despite the challenges in front of her is an inspiration to us all -- especially little girls who dream of becoming ballerinas when they grow up.”

The 32-year-old dancer made history just a few weeks ago by becoming the first black principal dancer at ABT in the company's 75 years of existence. And the awe-inspiring feat is certainly not lost on Copeland.

"I'm going to continue to be who I am and my experiences as a black woman have made me who I am," Copeland told Essence. "All of a sudden now that I'm in this position, I'm not going to say, 'I'm just a dancer.' It's a huge deal because I'm a black woman. That's why it's a big deal."

When you're finished staring at Copeland's stunning cover, you can pick up Essence's September issue on newsstands August 14. Full disclosure: The story was written by yours truly.

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Ballet Dancers Changing the Landscape