To our Beautiful Sistar Michaela DePrince!

Orphan From Sierra Leone Becomes World-Class Ballerina

TEDxAmsterdam 2014 | Michaela DePrince | From ‘devil’s child’ to star ballerina 

Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina | Book Trailer

Though ballet is my passion and dream, it would not be entirely fair to say that it saved me, without acknowledging the human beings who played major roles in saving my life. Some of these people I loved; others I detested. But if it were not for them, I would not have a life, let alone be a ballerina…Ballet brings me joy! It is my dream-come-true. It is the way I express my emotions. It helped keep me out of trouble as a kid, and fulfils me as an adult. It is the source of my success. But to say that it has saved me is not true, because I needed to be saved long before I arrived at my first ballet class. I want to share this so that other young people will appreciate those in their lives, good and bad, who have prodded them onward and upward toward their goals.
—  Michaela dePrince

Michaela DePrince: ‘There are practically no black dancers in ballet, so I need to speak out’

Michaela DePrince was born in Sierra Leone in 1995 during the civil war. At age three, she lost both her parents and was sent to an orphanage where she was mistreated by staff who believed she was the “devil’s child” due to her pigmented skin (caused by vitiligo). She and her best friend were adopted by an American couple when they were four. In 2011 DePrince starred in the ballet documentary First Position, and she is now a professional ballerina with the Dutch National Ballet.

Read more at the Guardian.

Long before she was on the path to pursuing her dance dreams, she lived in a total nightmare. Michaela was born in Sierra Leone, a small West African country that was ravaged by civil war between 1991 and 2002. When Michaela was just three, her beloved father—"I was a daddy’s girl,“ she says—was shot and killed by rebels. Only a week later, her mom died from starvation. An uncle whisked Michaela away to an orphanage, where she became known as Number 27. "We were all ranked from the most favored to the least, and I was at the very bottom for being rebellious and having a skin condition called vitiligo, which produces white freckles on my neck and chest,” she says. “They called me ‘devil child.’ ” She shared a grass sleeping mat with Number 26, a girl named Mia, who was shunned for being left-handed; the two became inseparable.

Read more at Teen Vogue.

posted by Gargi Sharma

Life is a gamble. There are no sureties. If you want something badly, you’d have to trust your heart and your instincts and then take a leap of faith.
-Alyssa Urbano 📷Michaela DePrince by Jade Young

© Angela Sterling

Igone de Jongh, Floor Eimers, Suzanna Kaic and Michaela DePrince, “Empire Noir” choreography by David Dawson from “Cool Britannia”, Het Nationale Ballet (Dutch National Ballet). World premiere: June 17, 2015

anonymous asked:

I remember watching Michaela DePrince compete in the Grand Prix in the documentary First Position when she was, like, 15. So everytime I see her now (like in that ELLE photograph) I feel so unreasonably proud of her and how much she's accomplished.

Oh my gosh same!! I’ve seen First Position at least 10 times and each time Michaela looks so amazing. It’s just so nice to see her improving continually :)

anonymous asked:

Hello could you please give me a few Black Americans with Vitiligo between the ages of 20-30's. Thank you.


  • Rasheed Wallace
  • Curtis McDaniel
  • Terrence J


  • Winnie Harlow
  • Sembene McFarland
  • Michaela DePrince
  • Tamar Braxton
  • Cheri Lindsay