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VIDEO: Misty Copeland Discusses the Importance of Acknowledging Race in Ballet

Copeland will release a book, Black Ballerinas, in 2022.

Dancer Misty Copeland recently talked with Good Morning America about the importance of acknowledging race in in ballet.

"As a Black person in this field -- you know, that it's so rare to see make it to this level -- I've always felt that it was my responsibility to use this time in my career not just to be seen on the stage and be representation, but to use my voice," she said. "I've really taken on that responsibility in that role in using my voice to share the realities of the ballet world, the beauty of it, but also the things that need to grow and change."

Copeland said that she believes, for the first time, people are starting to really listen to Black voices.

"In my 20 years -- not just being a professional ballerina but being an advocate -- this is the very first time, after the murder of George Floyd, that I've seen the conversation take a different tone, and I feel that people are listening for the first time," she said. "I feel like now, the next generation of dancers of Black and brown dancers, I think feel a little bit more comfortable speaking up and sharing their experiences."

Copeland also believes that dance is a universal art form that should be experienced by everyone. She thinks that excluding various communities from the craft makes it "less and less relevant."

Copeland will release a book, Black Ballerinas, in 2022, where she acknowledges those who came before her and paved the path for her and other Black dancers.

"Though it's not every Black ballerina that I would love to share -- that I feel like our history has not really been highlighted -- it's a chance for me to at least highlight a good 20 something of them," she said.

Watch the full interview below!

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