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Ballerina Misty Copeland Turned A Career-Ending Injury Into A Setup For Her Success

Celebrity News

When everything seems to fall in place, the universe will throw you a curveball and push you to go harder. I can personally assure you that pressure makes diamonds, and Misty Copeland proves that sometimes a setback can set you up for success. The 35-year-old ballerina recently opened up in an interview with Cosmopolitanabout how the best day of her life was overshadowed by an injury that had the potential to permanently end her career.

Misty scored a lead role in the critically acclaimed ballet, The Firebird, which was a major highlight in her career and made her the first black woman to be promoted to a principal role in American Ballet Theatre history.

"It was such an incredible high, to see for the first time time such a diverse audience walking into the Metropolitan Opera House because a black woman was going to be up there,"

Unfortunately, Misty was injured during the first show and was forced to have major surgery after breaking her tibia in six places.

"I just started this path of giving these people hope and then it may be over. I had my moments of doubt and feeling like I was letting down this entire community."

Even after surgery, Misty knew that she had an obligation to remain steadfast in her purpose. After being told she may never dance again, the bodacious ballerina continued to practice and kept her body in ballet-shape by doing a variety of at-home routines with her barre teacher in her apartment.

She made the decision to not be paralyzed by her obstacles, but to push through and set an example for the rest of us. Even when every force of nature in the world is forcing you to give up, reset and go harder. Remember that your setbacksare only a setup for your come up. Delayed doesn't mean denied.

Now, Misty is back to setting the world ablaze in her Pointe shoes. She recently launched a new sportswear collection with Under Armour that aims to cater to every woman.

"It's amazing to be given an opportunity to have this, the Misty Copeland Signature Collection. When I joined with Under Armour it was a shock, I think, because we've never seen an athletic apparel line even consider a ballerina or a dancer as an athlete."

Misty Copeland is the first ballet dancer to be named an Under Armour athlete and promises that the collection will offer versatility without compromising performance. The collection consists of 9 pieces that speak to Misty's divine fire and femininity and allow every woman to feel both comfortable and beautiful.

"I think that the ballerina is such a versatile athlete that most people don't think about. She's strong, she's feminine, she's powerful, she's elegant, and so I feel like, what the ballerina represents embodies so many different women. So I feel like this is for every woman. There's something in there for every woman."

When Misty Copeland isn't designing dope athletic wear or slaying the stage, she's fighting the same battles that all women are faced with. She's a reminder that your obstacles often make a way for opportunity.

Check out the Under Armour Misty Copeland signature collection here.

Featured image by Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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