Seriously, I can’t thank Disney enough for inviting me to the red-carpet premiere of The Nutcracker and The Four Realms and giving me a chance to interview THE Misty Copeland, the Ballerina Princess in the movie.
Just a little about Misty Copeland, she began her ballet studies 13. At 15 she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. Copeland joined ABT’s Studio Company in September 2000, joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001, and in August 2007 became the company’s second African American female soloist and the first in two decades. In August 2015 Copeland was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African American woman ever to be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history, and she made her Broadway debut in the role of Ivy Smith/Miss Turnstiles with the critically acclaimed show “On the Town.”
Misty is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir “Life in Motion,” co-written with award-winning journalist and author Charisse Jones, published in March 2014. She has a picture book titled “Firebird” in collaboration with award-winning illustrator and author Christopher Myers, published in September 2014. In 2016 Mattel released a Firebird Barbie doll in Copeland’s image, paying tribute to her groundbreaking performance in the role. Her new book, “Ballerina Body,” an instant New York Times bestseller, was published in March 2017. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford in November 2014 for her contributions to classical ballet and helping to diversify the art form.
As a Barbie fanatic, I was excited to hear her talk about how involved she was with the creation of her first Barbie. She said,
“I made it very clear that I wanted it to be a true representation of me and what I stand for like just don’t take Barbie’s body and like paint her brown. You know, I want her to have boobs. I want her to have like thigh muscles and calves. And I want her nose to be wider than Barbie, and the lips to be full. So, we already had the mold when we did this one for my Character in the Disney film so all they had to do was like put a white wig on her, put a little dress on her and they changed the makeup a little bit but it is so incredible, something that I loved my whole life.”
Misty played the Ballerina Princess in the Nutcracker and The Four Realms. In the film, young Clara needs a magical, one-of-a-kind key to unlock a box that contains a priceless gift. A golden thread leads her to the coveted key, but it soon disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. In that world, she meets a soldier named Phillip, a group of mice and the regents who preside over three realms. Clara and Phillip must now enter a fourth realm to retrieve the key and restore harmony to the unstable land.
I have always been one who believed in the power of empowerment. Prior to becoming The Motivated Mom – helping moms be great women and extraordinary moms, I ran an organization called Shine on Purpose where I empowered African American and Hispanic young girls to be happy with their own shine! So, I was extremely happy and very moved when one of the other bloggers with tears rolling down her face asked, “You’ve been such a player in terms of empowerment and you’re such an inspiration. You have documentaries and books, what kind of a message do you want girls to take away from this movie because everything you do is about women empowerment, body image so what do you want to say to girls?”
I can still see the look on Misty’s face as she looked her in her face to answer her question…you could feel the emotion. After thanking her for her kind words, she said,
“First of all everyone goes to the movies. It’s a place where you can dream and fantasize. For the cast to be so diverse as it is, is amazing. And for this next generation to see a Brown Ballerina in this Nutcracker film that will live on, well hopefully now we are able to say, that’s what a Ballerina looks like. As a Black Ballerina, it’s so rare. And that to me, is so incredible and empowering! You know, for them to see representation, possibilities and limitless opportunities for themselves. That’s what I hope they take away.”
That’s my hope as well, that women and girls alike see the possibilities and limitless opportunities and decide to dance (sing, write, act, teach, serve) their way into their unique purpose. I can’t say enough about meeting Misty. She is absolutely beautiful, very kind, extremely humble and a true delight. I could not help but to yell out as she was leaving the room “We Love You Misty” and I meant every word. I was speaking on behalf of every little girl that felt she was too late, too tall, too fat, or too skinny. For a little black girl who did not feel like she fit as a ballerina at the age of 13, and now to be a Ballerina Princess, we love that!
Listen, don’t take my word for it…go see the movie for yourself TODAY. The Nutcracker and The Four Realms is an absolute delight. It is beautiful, inspiring, colorful (no punt intended), and it has lots of very important lessons.
PS. I will be sharing more of the amazing interviews, tours and behind the scene activities that I experienced while in Los Angeles for the #DisneysNutcrackerEvent.
You can also stay informed about THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS by visiting the website, following on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also follow along using the #DisneysNutcrackerEvent hashtag.
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