Monday, July 17, 2017

Michaela DePrince - A ballerina against all odds

Michaela DePrince is a ballerina and a soloist with the Dutch National Ballet. A war orphan from Sierra Leone, she endured the death of her father by the Revolutionary United Front, and the demise of her mother from starvation as the result of the ravages of war. Alone at three, she was shipped off to a refugee camp and then an orphanage. Marked by vitiligo, she was the object of taunts at the orphanage. Finally, at four, she was adopted, along with another girl, by a Jewish couple from Cherry Hill, NJ.

In the states, she thrived and dreamed of doing what she saw a woman do when she spied a magazine cover with a ballet dancer on it. As they say, "the rest is history." After many scholarships and a course of study in Philly at the Rock School for Dance Education, she was ready to fly. Discouraged by a naysayer of a teacher who told her mom that it wasn't worth investing money and time in her because "Black girls grow big butts and big boobs" (sigh) and I suppose ruin the traditional idea of what a ballerina is supposed to look like. Whatever that is. Lord help us. Ignoring the instructor, Michaela studied with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and was accepted as their youngest troupe member ever. More studies at the American Ballet Theatre and elsewhere, and after winning competitions, she she spread her wings, again and applied and was accepted at the Dutch National Ballet junior company. Diligence led ther to being admitted to the main company and made a Coryphee.

Last year, she became a household name when she danced in the video for the Beyonce song, Freedom.

Congratulations and much success to this talented, driven, 22-year old.performer. Now, I'd like to see her dance in something with Misty Copeland.

Ladies, y'all killin' it!

No comments:

Post a Comment