62 Misty Copeland Quotes for a Life of Passion

Misty Copeland is one of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the modern world of ballet.

These Misty Copeland quotes show her journey through discovering ballet and her dreams.

They highlight what it was like moving through ballet as a career while living as a minority.

She speaks about confidence, perseverance, and creating your own fate through art.

Copeland talks a lot about ballet in particular, but what can we learn about pursuing our own dreams from reading about hers?

We can learn a lot about confidence from reading Misty Copeland’s quotes.

When we read her words, we can see ourselves as children just beginning to dream, and understand that we can truly do anything our hearts want.

Also check out these dance quotes that will get your body moving.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

Explore our complete collection of motivational quotes here.

Misty Copeland quotes about perseverance

1. “I knew that I just didn’t have it in me to give up, even if I sometimes felt like a fool for continuing to believe.” – Misty Copeland

2. “This is for the little brown girls.” – Misty Copeland

3. “I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday.” – Misty Copeland

4. “My first ballet class was on a basketball court. I’m in my gym clothes and my socks trying to do this thing called ballet. I didn’t know anything about it.” – Misty Copeland

5. “Finding ballet gave me passion for the first time in my life. I was always very shy and just wanted to fit in; I never daydreamed about what I wanted to be when I grew up. But dancing gave me a connection to my personality that made me grow.” – Misty Copeland

6. “Ballet became this escape for me. I feel like I was on my own a lot. I was searching for stability, so I was going off on my own and imagining what I thought stability was. Ballet became a way for me to cope.” – Misty Copeland

7. “Before dance came into my life, I don’t remember having any major goals or dreams of wanting to be anything.” – Misty Copeland

8. “Finding ballet was like finding this missing piece of myself.” – Misty Copeland

9. “Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.” – Misty Copeland

10. “I think, as a child, there weren’t dreams. I can’t recall as a child having some ultimate dream and thinking that it was possible.” – Misty Copeland

11. “Perseverance has always just been something that was in me. And it was a tool that came in very handy as a ballerina.” – Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland Quotes About Confidence

12. “He said don’t let them take you over. Walk into the room knowing you are the best. Shoulders back, chin up. Their attitudes will totally change.” – Misty Copeland

13. “Start unknown, finish unforgettable.” – Misty Copeland

14. “Decide what you want. Declare it to the world. See yourself winning. And remember that if you are persistent as well as patient, you can get whatever you seek.” – Misty Copeland

15. “I can do anything when I am in a tutu.” – Misty Copeland

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16. “Put on a performance that hid all the strings, leaving only stardust for the audience to see.” – Misty Copeland

17. “I think body-image issues are not just a dancer thing. I think we’re much more in tune and aware because the body is our instrument and art, and we stare at ourselves in a mirror all day, but I feel like it’s something that every woman experience and every girl experiences.” – Misty Copeland

18. “That something that I fought so hard for throughout the beginning of my career is I didn’t want to pancake my skin a lighter color to fit into the… ballet. I wanted to be myself. I didn’t want to have to wear makeup that make my nose look thinner.” – Misty Copeland

19. “More often than we realize, people see in us what we don’t see in ourselves.” – Misty Copeland

20. “Every time I step onto the stage, it’s not only provide to the audience that I’m capable but to myself.” – Misty Copeland

21. “It’s all so surreal, and I’m living my dream. And you know, principal or not, I’m getting to dance all the roles that I’ve dreamed of doing.” – Misty Copeland

22. “Every time I dance, I’m trying to prove myself to myself.” – Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland quotes on leaving your mark

23. “It’s time to write our own story.” – Misty Copeland

24. “All you can do is be your best self. I’m representing more than just me. I think everyone should be like that.” – Misty Copeland

25. “Knowing that it has never been done before makes me want to fight even harder.” – Misty Copeland

26. “It’s a European art form, and you’re used to seeing a certain type of person as a ballerina. And I don’t look like a lot of the girls around me.” – Misty Copeland

27. “As a child, I had been told that I was exactly what a ballerina should be.” – Misty Copeland

28. “I want to bring awareness to the lack of diversity in ballet, and feel like that’s a large part of my purpose.” – Misty Copeland

29. “I want the ballet world to be given the respect that it deserves and to be seen by more people—for so many to experience the beauty that I’ve received from the ballet world.” – Misty Copeland

30. “I never thought of myself as special or particularly good at anything. But once I started ballet, suddenly I had a new identity: prodigy.” – Misty Copeland

31. “You have to be the one promoting yourself. If you don’t think that you’re worthy, you’re never going to make it.” – Misty Copeland

32. “I didn’t want to be the best at anything; I just wanted to blend in. And that was kind of my existence throughout my family experiences at home of just kind of blending in in the background through my other siblings, which was easy to do.” – Misty Copeland

33. “There are hundreds of stories I’ve heard from black women from my generation, generations before me, and the next, that have never been given an opportunity to fulfill their dreams.” – Misty Copeland
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of quotes from black women for a boost of inspiration.

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Misty Copeland quotes about dancing as an Art

34. “I think most people think of ballerinas as kind of either a fairytale, far-away thing that’s really not attainable, something they can’t grasp, or they think of them as European or Russian and kind of their nose up in the air. So, it’s cool for me to, like, sit with them and for them to really see themselves in me.” – Misty Copeland

35. “Growing up, I was surrounded by R&B and Hip-Hop, and the closest thing I could find to dance was gymnastics which I watched on TV. So, I just used those avenues I found available right in my milieu to express what was inside of me.” – Misty Copeland

36. “Don’t hold onto the barre like ‘I might die.’ It’s just ballet.” – Misty Copeland

37. “I’m definitely influenced by the music. We dance to music, and you have to listen to it and phrase your dancing and movement in a certain way to compliment the music. We have to work hand in hand, the dancer and the music.” – Misty Copeland

38. “My favorite role of all? Whatever I’m working on in the moment.” – Misty Copeland

39. “The ballet world I don’t think, is an art form that it quick to change or to adjust or evolve.” – Misty Copeland

40. “When I was dancing, I felt in control and happy. I’m a Virgo, so I really like to be in control.” – Misty Copeland

41. “Ballet was this thing that just felt so innate in me, like I was meant to be doing this.” – Misty Copeland

42. “I didn’t care how much work it would take, and I didn’t see the time invested as a waste or like I was missing out on anything. Ballet became my ultimate passion.” – Misty Copeland

43. “If the rhythm or beat of the music changes with a live orchestra, you have to think on your feet. If you feel like you are not on your leg, you have to make a decision to make it look as though nothing is going wrong.” – Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland quotes about the human experience

44. “I don’t feel like my life is that of a superstar! Every day I wake up, I take the train, I go to my ballet class. My everyday life is pretty normal.” – Misty Copeland

45. “When people meet me in person, they’re usually surprised at how petite I am because there’s this idea that because I’m black, I just look a certain way.” – Misty Copeland

46. “I’ve always approached my career and my life, you know, one day at a time, as if this was the last day that I’m going, because you never know as an athlete and as a dancer. You never know what can happen today, tomorrow.” – Misty Copeland

47. “Whenever there was chaos in my house, whether it was arguing, being in a cramped space with all of us kids and screaming, I found an empty space where I could just put music on and move.” – Misty Copeland

48. “I don’t eat a ton of pasta or bread. But I eat dessert almost every night, and I drink. You need a bit of balance, and I’ve found mine.” – Misty Copeland

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49. “Dance kind of was always just a part of my natural state as a child. It’s something that, whenever music was playing, I was dancing.” – Misty Copeland

50. “When I was a little girl, I was incredibly shy. My hope was to blend in, to fit in, to not be noticed in any significant way. I was deeply insecure and unsure of myself.” – Misty Copeland

51. “If I’m put in a situation where I’m not really sure what’s going to happen, it can be overwhelming. I get a bit anxious.” – Misty Copeland

52. “To be empathetic to everyone around you, I think, is such a powerful thing to hold.” – Misty Copeland

More Misty Copeland quotes and sayings

53. “You can dream big and it doesn’t matter what you look like, where you come from.” – Misty Copeland

54. “The path to your success is not as fixed and inflexible as you think.” – Misty Copeland

55. “You’re always working to improve, and you’re always being critiqued on your next performance. It’s not about what you’ve done. There’s always room to grow.” – Misty Copeland

56. “I just try to approach every opportunity on stage, as if it’s my first time and my last time.” – Misty Copeland

57. “I will push myself in different ventures that I believe will make me a better artist, dancer and person.” – Misty Copeland

58. “I know I will never let myself be complacent in life.” – Misty Copeland

59. “I think anything that affects me in my personal life is going to help me be a better artist on stage.” – Misty Copeland

60. “I try to consider people’s perspectives and not just my own.” – Misty Copeland

61. “I never experienced getting nervous on stage. I think I was most comfortable there.” – Misty Copeland

62. “The higher you go up in rank, usually the longer you can dance.” – Misty Copeland

What did you take away from these Misty Copeland quotes?

These inspirational Misty Copeland quotes show the layers that come with overcoming adversity to pursue your dream.

Misty Copeland did not come from the same home life that most ballerinas come from, and yet she is still one of the most talented ballerinas in modern history.

From living as a minority to actually accomplishing everything she ever wanted, Misty Copeland is one of the most notable figures when it comes to pursuing your dreams.

What can we take from Copeland’s story and apply to our own?

Copeland didn’t know what she wanted from her life, until she found her one passion.

Take time to figure out what you’re genuinely passionate about, and then work to make that your priority in life.

If you can make a future out of something you love, you’ll love every minute of your future.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Misty Copeland quotes?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Check out Misty Copeland on MasterClass where she teaches Ballet Technique and Artistry.

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