Being the first black female soloist for the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in over 20 years takes a tremendous amount of talent, hard work, determination, style and grace -- which is why Misty Copeland fills the position so perfectly.
And the 30-year-old ballerina doesn't take her reality for granted. Copeland recently opened up about her rise from taking ballet classes at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to taking the dance world by storm in an interview with Net-A-Porter's digital publication The Edit.
“I have worked my way from the bottom to soloist – my goal is to set a positive example for minority dancers; to make it easier for them in years to come,” Copeland told The Edit.
She goes on to say that although she has seemingly made it to the top, being only one of two black women in a company of 90 dancers is far from ideal."
"It’s getting the idea into people’s heads that ballerinas can have brown skin that is frustrating. There are so many stereotypes."
Copeland is helping to break those stereotypes and promote diversity within ballet by being as visible as possible on the dance scene and beyond. In fact, she's becoming quite the fashion industry darling with an official co-sign by Carine Roitfeld. The former Vogue France editor-in-chief tapped Copeland to show off her stunning good looks and toned physique in a ballet-themed issue of CR Fashion Book and even invited the dancer to attend this year's AmfAR Gala as her guest.
Copeland is also getting into the design game with a line of dancewear for curvy movers like herself.
When she isn't wrapped in tutus, leotards and tights, she enjoys wearing designs by Rag & Bone, Helmut Lang, Diane von Furstenberg and Christian Louboutin. She said her personal style is much more relaxed than her on stage looks.
“Right now, I’m going through a jumpsuit phase."
Read Copeland's full interview over at The Edit and click through the slideshow below for a look at the stunning ballerina.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article, citing The Edit, stated that Copeland is the only woman of color at the ABT. HuffPost confirmed with the ABT that she is the only black soloist, but one of two African-American ballerinas.