I’m late to the party on this one but glad I eventually found it…
Nelson George’s ‘A Ballerina’s Tale’ is a roughly 90 minute documentary that introduces many of us to the story of Misty Copeland, the first black woman to be cast as the lead ballerina by many international ballet troupes. Born in Kansas City(!), the film picks up when Misty is already well respected and known in the inner circles of that world, but before the outside world asks ‘Why hasn’t there been any people of color headlining Swan Lake or the Nutcracker or any of these stories that aren’t pure historical re-enactments?’
My personal favorite part of Nelson’s film was seeing how Misty was assigned a ‘consigliere’ that she could confide in and look to as ‘the first black…’ in her path. Dihanne Carroll, Victoria Rowell, Veronica Webb, I’m pretty sure I saw Cheryl Boone Isaac in some of those pictures. That part of what we all do that’s not so directly about your talents or gifts but just having a support system; I love that.
When Misty starts to become a name and the little girls really start coming through and the brothers who never had any interest in ballet start coming through, and Under Armour…the tracks were laid for her to be a star and she’s handling it well.
Fun, really quick watch and very inspiring. Now streaming on Netflix.