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Michaela DePrince

“When I was a little girl, my parents used to warn me, “Life is hard for a black girl. She is judged against stereotypes. In the ballet world, and even in other careers, you have to be ten times better at what you do than the white girl next to you.” I think that I found the strength to push back against the stereotypes because my parents never denied them. They were always there to validate my feelings about them and to give me emotional support.”

Michaela DePrince

“Ever since I was a little girl and noticed that there were so few black ballerinas in classical companies, I’ve wanted people to see that black girls can dance classical ballet too. The reality is that you can’t help notice my complexion. I’m not tan. I’m very dark. So even if I wanted to be just a dancer, it wouldn’t happen. I know that I’m playing an influential role in the evolution of dance, and I’m happy to be the Ruby Bridges of classical ballet.”