As the first African American female principal dancer at the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland knows a thing or two about hustling.
“There’s no day off, really,” she says. “And that’s what I love about it. I don’t know how I would feel if I weren’t working.”
Copeland is constantly training, moving, creating – even when she’s not dancing. Her favorite “side hustles” are cooking and fashion, which may not seem to have much to do with ballet. The 33-year-old explains how her career has informed every aspect of her life, on and off the stage.
“If I hadn’t been a dancer, I always say that I would have found something artistic in some way,” she says. “I think that the reason I connect to fashion and to food and to cooking is because you’re creating.”
People are surprised when Copeland chooses to cook in her limited downtime.
“[Cooking] is a way for me to unwind,” she explains. “And again with fashion, [it] is so intertwined, I’m always considering my aesthetic and the fact that I’m five foot two and I’m very aware of my lines. I don’t think I’d be aware of that when it comes to fashion if I wasn’t a ballerina.”
The structure itself of classical ballet has taught Copeland how to approach every challenge and deadline she encounters.
“Whether I’m writing a book and I have deadlines or I’m working on the documentary, I just approach everything that I‘m doing the same way I would my career and my craft.”