How Misty Copeland & Robert Garland Unite Black Dancers

COPELAND There is so much disguised language that we have yet to decipher. These days we are in a place where we can take a step back a...


COPELAND There is so much disguised language that we have yet to decipher. These days we are in a place where we can take a step back and see that we don’t have to take it personally. But it’s about something you can’t control: your skin, your personality, “the excitement”. To me, it’s like saying, “Don’t be you.

BRADLEY You look different, but we’ll put you in the brochure.

HUTSELL Oh my God, yes. They won’t get you into anything, but you can be on the notice board.

BRADLEY For many ballet company managers, white is the standard of classic beauty.

HUTSELL My sister, who just entered Birmingham Royal Ballet, sent me a meme that said, “When did you realize you weren’t ugly, you just weren’t white?” This explains perfectly.

ALEXANDER HUTCHINSON I think we’ve had a lot of time this year to think about it because we were stuck at home. I had time to think, “Oh, it’s because I was black that I had this experience in the studio. I’m not the type to say it was because of the color of my skin. But sometimes you have to realize that no, it’s because I’m black that I’ve been treated this way, and that’s not OK.

HUTSELL And no one comes to you when you’re 14 and says, “At some point you’re going to be every little black girl’s idol. Be ready. Now you have to carry the weight of it all on your shoulders. You have to take responsibility for making sure that the people who come after you agree and that you disagree.

BRADLEY We could talk about this topic for weeks and not get to the bottom of it.

ERICA LALL But I think it’s important for audience members to see us all on stage together, in the spotlight, and not just trying to blend in with the body.

HUTCHINSON It’s really nice to be yourself.

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