Misty CopelandTeaches Ballet Technique and Artistry

Misty Copeland

Teaches Ballet Technique and Artistry
17 Lessons, 12 min/lessonAll-levelsLesson Workbooks
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17 Lessons

American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland demonstrates her technique and approach to delivering powerful, inspired performances.


A downloadable workbook that reveals elements of Misty’s practice regimen, tips for learning choreography, and insights into her life and career.


Learn on your own terms, at your own pace on mobile, desktop, or Apple TV.

Lesson Plan

  • 01

    Introduction: Owning Your Power

    Meet your new instructor: American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland. Misty talks about the philosophy that’s helped her through challenges, and she shares how this class will help you gain confidence and a fresh perspective.

  • 02

    Misty's Technical Transformation

    Misty opens up about some of the errors she’s made in past performances, explaining how she’s dealt with criticism and revealing her technical transformation to rebuild strength and increase quality of movement.

  • 03

    Performance: Black Swan Variation

    Misty discusses how she prepares her pointe shoes and which type she chooses for different performances. Then she demonstrates a warm-up at the barre and performs a solo variation from Swan Lake.

  • 04

    Barre Warm-up: Pliés and Tendus

    Misty introduces placement principles for proper alignment and shares a series of stationary exercises to practice pliés and tendus. These exercises will help you build strength and prepare for jumps.

  • 05

    Barre Technique: Temps Lié

    To help you learn placement principles and prepare for larger moves like arabesques, Misty demonstrates a series of small movement exercises to practice temps lié and maintain stability while shifting her weight from side to side.

  • 06

    Barre Technique: Ronds de Jambe

    In an advanced demonstration, Misty shows you exercises to practice ronds de jambe. These sequences prepare you for turns and help you engage placement principles while executing elaborate choreography.

  • 07

    Performance Deconstruction: Black Swan Variation

    All the techniques shown so far come together in a slowed-down version of Misty’s Black Swan variation. You’ll see Misty’s proper alignment for jumps and turns.

  • 08

    Technique Informs Artistry

    Misty tells you why a dedication to mastering technique in the studio will help you create dynamic performances, and she motivates you to become a storyteller through movement on stage.

  • 09

    Performance: White Swan Pas de Deux

    Watch as Misty and her dance partner, Calvin Royal III, perform the White Swan pas de deux. Sharing the story of Swan Lake, Misty emphasizes the importance of understanding both your role and your partner’s to create a compelling performance.

  • 10

    Partner Workshop: White Swan Pas de Deux

    Calvin Royal III, a soloist for American Ballet Theatre, joins Misty as she explains her approach to working through choreography. Watch as Misty and Calvin collaborate and finesse a piece rarely performed by two Black dancers.

  • 11

    Creating Powerful Performances

    A strong stage presence is rooted in the connection you have with the audience. Misty guides you to focus on portraying roles with honesty and encourages you to stay in the moment on stage.

  • 12

    Performance: Kyle Abraham's Ash

    Misty introduces Kyle Abraham, a contemporary dance choreographer, and performs his piece Ash to show how she fuses modern and classical ballet styles.

  • 13

    Choreography Workshop: Ash Rehearsal

    Misty brings you into a rehearsal session with Kyle Abraham. Watch as Misty works with Kyle to discover the story behind the movement and execute the choreography in a way that feels natural to her and honors his vision.

  • 14

    Working With Choreographers

    From her formative years through her experiences at American Ballet Theatre, Misty opens up about working with different choreographers, including Debbie Allen, Alexei Ratmansky, and Twyla Tharp.

  • 15

    Style Evolution With Prince

    Misty shares how working with Prince was a life-changing moment for her as an artist, and she encourages you to step out of your comfort zone as a dancer and explore different genres.

  • 16

    The Value of Mentorship

    Misty talks about mentorship, including the support she received from Raven Wilkinson, one of the first Black ballerinas with a major dance company. Calvin Royal III shares his story of being mentored by Misty.

  • 17

    Diversity and Inclusion in Ballet

    Misty speaks to her hope for a legacy that fosters more inclusivity in ballet. She urges you to actively participate in the conversation around diversity to change the perception of what a ballet dancer should be.

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Misty Copeland

Teaches Ballet Technique and Artistry

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