The story of Misty Copeland's meteoric rise to fame - from an impoverished childhood in a shabby motel to the world's stage as principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre - has made her something of an icon in the United States.
"Ballet has taught me to be strong and fearless and have a voice, and yet be feminine, elegant and poised. Every child should experience it. It's just as important as the education they are getting at school," says the 35-year-old (left), who played the lead role in Swan Lake at the Esplanade last Thursday.
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