A Lil Positivity: 17-Year-Old Michaela DePrince Survived Civil War In Sierra Leone To Become Ballet Star In U.S.

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Michaela DePrince

We love stories like these, about young black folks overcoming serious challenges in life!

Teen Vogue Profiles “First Position” Black Ballerina Michaela DePrince

We thought this was a great profile and HAD to share it with you!

Pick an afternoon on any day of the week, and chances are you’ll find Michaela DePrince in front of a wall of mirrors. It’s not a vanity thing. “I personally hate them,” says the seventeen-year-old rising ballerina, “but they help me focus on every detail when I’m working on technique.” Whether she’s gliding across the floor en pointe in class at American Ballet Theatre’s prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in New York City or rehearsing for an upcoming gala performance, she perfects each movement through the looking glass.

Michaela landed a coveted spot in ABT’s preprofessional division in 2010 after making an appearance at the annual Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest student ballet competition—and a camera crew trailed her for an entire year leading up to the big event. She’s one of the stars of the new documentary First Position, which has won multiple awards on the film festival circuit. (For more information on the movie, visit balletdocumentary.com.) Released in select theaters in May, it follows six gifted young dancers who face immense pressure and fierce competition as they vie for a place in an elite ballet company or school. For Michaela, however, the journey to becoming a ballerina at the JKO School is about much more than just hard work and sacrifice; hers is truly an against-all-odds story.

Just wait until you read what she had to overcome to get where she has!

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