Sports & Gaming

Technique Informs Artistry

Misty Copeland

Lesson time 5:53 min

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.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Storytelling Through Movement • Build a Strong Foundation


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Something that could be extremely helpful is to really look at your life and your life experiences and not trying to create something or take on what you think maybe the character may be. But really try and relate to them and what they may be going through based on what you may have gone through in your life. I experienced a lot of hardships from a young age. By the time I was 13, I had moved from many cities and had many stepfathers. And had been in underprivileged communities, lived in a motel. And I would say I had zero confidence. I think that it was because there was no real balance in my life. No structure. No consistency. No-- I didn't see a future. Like, I never knew what tomorrow would bring. And that made me feel insecure. It made me just scared and nervous about life. And it wasn't until music and dance came into my life that it made me confident. It gave me a sense of, like, what I wanted to say. And it gave me a way of saying it that I connected with. I think that from the first time I stepped onto a stage and I was 13-years-old playing the role of Clara, I was actually having feelings. And I remember my teachers saying to me, like, how are you able to become this character? And I don't think I understood at the time, but to this day, it's something that I draw from when I'm on stage. And I think it's definitely been beneficial to have experienced such a range of emotions from an early age. As an artist, you should use your imagination. I think that's why it's important to read books, to see movies, and from different genres, just to expand your mind and see how different people experience life. That's something that I've had and I still have to this day, that's been an advantage for me. [MUSIC PLAYING] I think something that I've always done maybe innately as a dancer was find a story because dancing is storytelling. And it's always been something that I've needed. I was capable as a young person of doing more abstract, maybe modern and contemporary works, but it brought more meaning. And it was easier, even technically, to do certain steps when I was saying something with those steps. I think that when I'm approaching different roles, I always do research about everything about the ballet. Where it's set. Was it hot during this time? What did the people wear? What did they eat? Whether it's a romantic ballet, where you'll have your hands on your hips, but they'll have to be softer and elbows slightly back. Or something that's more of a character role, like Kitri in the ballet "Don Quixote," where you have to understand the positioning of your hands on your hips. And that your elbows have to be forward and your shoulders back. The freedom that I think you can have as a dancer is maybe the way that you hear the music and you time things in a certain way. Or just your approach internally. I think that as much as it seems like it's probably a small thing, if you're thinking abou...

About the Instructor

As the first African American female principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland made history. Now she’s one of the world’s most influential dancers, and she’s inviting you to the barre to develop a deeper appreciation for ballet and the language of dance. From pliés to partners, Misty demonstrates her techniques and teaches you to own your movement, own who you are, and do the dance only you can do.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Misty Copeland

American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland teaches you how to build your technique, embrace your story, and own your movement.

Explore the Class
Sign Up