My family loves watching Misty Copeland as a guest judge and mentor on World of Dance each season. We can see how passionate about her art of dance she is and how much she enjoys helping mentor others. When I found out I was going to be given the opportunity to interview Misty Copeland for her role as the Ballerina in Disney’s Nutcracker, I was beyond thrilled.
Interview with Misty Copeland – Ballerina in Disney’s Nutcracker
As the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position of principal dancer in the 75 years of American Ballet Theatre’s history, she is an inspiration. Misty Copeland did not attempt ballet until she was 13-years-old and by the time she turned 15, she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. That’s impressive! It also goes to show that it is never too late to start and you can accomplish anything that you love and work hard at.
Misty Copeland Becoming Involved in Disney’s Nutcracker
Disney Studios reached out to me, which was kind of shocking. I’m not an actress but I understand the Nutcracker connection. It was a really organic fit and they were just really organic about letting me kind of take the lead. They’re said “we don’t know ballet, this isn’t our world, so teach us, we’re going to entrust that you’re gonna have the right team”. They allowed me to choose a choreographer so I selected Liam Scarlet. He’s a choreographer in Residence for the Royal Ballet in London and I had worked with him before.
When they brought the idea to me, it was based on the book, the Nutcracker Book. It wasn’t based on the Nutcracker Ballet so there was no ballet in this version of the story. Disney said you can’t do the Nutcracker and not have ballet in it so they kind of created this character for me, the Ballerina Princess, just as a way to have ballet in it.
I’m kind of the story teller so my performance is there to share the story of the four realms and tell it to Clara.
~ Misty Copeland
Do you hope to do more movies and bring your ballet back to the big screen?
I don’t know if I will say that me in particular, but I don’t want to limit myself. I never in a million years would have thought I would write three books. I’m leaving things open to fall into place organically and something that I don’t think I realized til maybe 4-5 years ago was how much I enjoyed acting on stage.
~ Misty Copeland
Disney’s Nutcracker Ballerina Makeup and Hair Process
It was the most amazing team. We would be up very early while it was still dark outside. It was a long process. Two hours or more to make sure the wig was secure and there was some gadget that was in my costume that was magnetic so like the spotlight would follow me while dancing. Then I was dancing with this thing in my costume, it was crazy. With the wig, all of those pins on my head for 10 hours.
It was really painful. The process of the makeup was a lot of work. You have to make it look exactly the same every single day that you go in so it’s very detailed, not as glamorous as people probably assume it is. But it’s amazing to see how it came out and how magical it made me feel.
~ Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland in American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker
American Ballet Theatre is showcasing The Nutcracker this December at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Visit ABT.org and look for the name Copeland to see when Misty Copeland is performing. She will not be performing every night so you don’t want to miss her beautiful elegance on stage!
Disney’s Nutcracker And The Four Realms
Disney’s The Nutcracker And The Four Realms is now showing in theaters! Check out my family-friendly movie review to see if your kids will enjoy it.