Misty Copeland is a 30-year-old professional ballet dancer from Kansas City, MO, and the 3rd African American female to ever dance solo in the American Ballet Theatre.

Copeland did not begin dancing until she was 13 years old. That's almost unheard of in the world of professional dance, where most successful dancers begin training in early childhood. She is considered a prodigy, and by the age of 15 was already an award-winner with several professional offers from companies who wanted her.

By 1998, Misty was a LA Music Center Spotlight Award winner for 'Best Dancer in Southern California.' She became a member of the American Ballet Theatre Company in 2000, and was a soloist by 2007. Though she began as a classical ballet dancer, her more recent years have found her evolving into a more contemporary style of dance.

In addition to her dance career, Copeland has also released a line of dancewear called 'M by Misty,' and a line of calendars. She is in the process of publishing a memoir and an illustrated children's book. Check her out on Twitter and her official site to keep up with all her projects, and enjoy the pics below:

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