Misty Copeland is definitely an example of someone who had the courage to pursue her dreams against seemingly insurmountable odds and the audience learned exactly how the dance icon did this during a conversation she had with legend Debbie Allen Saturday at the Grand Arts High School concert hall in downtown Los Angeles.

The audience was full of little girls dressed in tutus and ribbons. They were wide-eyed and full of promise and it was clear that while looking at Copeland on stage, they too felt as if their dreams could come true. According to Allen, “the world of dance is a world of hard work, perseverance, determination, pain, belief and beauty. However, it is worth it, Allen said adding that Misty is successfully maneuvering in that world and completely changing the face of ballet..

After beginning her ballet career at the late age of 13 and battling a series of injuries, the San Pedro native become the first African American principal dancer in the 75-year history of the prestigious American Ballet Theatre.

Copeland said that ballet gave her a voice and allowed her to learn in a way that worked for her. Whether she is dancing “Firebird,” “Romeo and Juliet,” or “Swan Lake,”Copeland knows she is living her dream and that she was born to dance.