We recently caught up with acclaimed ballerina, Misty Copeland who was the first African-American performer to be appointed as a principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre and stars as The Ballerina in Disney’s newest holiday feature film, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
Here’s an exclusive Q&A with Misty giving you an inside look of her experience portraying an iconic character in a Disney film:
How is dancing for a major motion picture different from dancing on stage?
On most movie sets, they don’t have a real understanding that dancers can’t sit around for hours and at 4 a.m., get up and dance. It’s really dangerous if you’re not rested and warmed up properly. So, the dancers and I took ballet classes each morning as the crew worked around us. It was also helpful that Disney hired British choreographer Liam Scarlett, at my request, and he helped balance our schedules and workload with the needs of production.
How has Disney music inspired you and your career?
I have always loved many Disney films. To be in one, as a ballerina, I thought there’s going to be this movie that will live on, a Disney film that people will look at, and it’s not a black ballerina. It’s just normal. It is what it is.
Who is your favorite Disney character?
I love Belle from Beauty and the Beast!
So, embrace what makes you unique and be sure to take your dancers to see Disney's The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, now in theaters.
Don’t forget to check out our Disney Performing Arts Workshops where your students can learn how to grand jeté into their careers from Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Entertainment Cast Members and be sure to sign up for our new e-newsletter for even more inspiration for your dancers.