CCSS: 6.EE.A.2.C, 7.EE.B.3, MP1, MP6

TEKS: 6.3D, 6.7D, 7.3A, 7.3B

By the Numbers: Misty Copeland

Henry Leutwyler/Contour by Getty Images

When Misty Copeland took her first ballet class at age 13, she had no way of knowing that she’d become one of the most famous ballerinas in the world. Despite starting her career later than most, Copeland began dancing for the prestigious American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in New York City when she was only 17.

From there, her career began a meteoric rise, with Copeland dancing key roles and winning awards. In 2015, Copeland became the first Black female principal dancer in ABT’s 75-year history. Since then, she’s dedicated herself to further diversifying the world of ballet.

Read on to learn more about Misty Copeland. Then plug in the numbers to solve the equation below and reveal a final fact.

Henry Leutwyler/Contour by Getty Images


Copeland’s age when she became a principal dancer at ABT


Courtesy Misty Copeland

Age at which Copeland started ballet


Peggy Sirota/Trunk Archive

Number of Black principal dancers of the 16 principals currently in ABT: Calvin Royal III and Copeland


Julieta Cervantes/The New York Times/Redux

Copeland’s height, in inches


Courtesy of G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Firebird, Bunheads); Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing (Ballerina Body); Courtesy of Aladdin (Black Ballerinas, Life in Motion)

Number of books Copeland has written, including two children’s books

True Touch Lifestyle/ (ballerina legs)