Misty Copeland

American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland is featured in Cosmopolitan’s August issue (on newsstands now). The now-33-year-old landed among the prestigious ABT ranks at 17 and was promoted to principal dancer last summer. She’s the first black woman to hold the title in ABT’s 76-year history. And she was Prince’s muse and friend until his death last April. Soaring through the air in gala-worthy gowns or dressed down in denim that stretches to her every move, pioneering ballerina and boss businesswoman Misty Copeland is all the #Goals in this month’s Cosmopolitan.

Misty Copeland Quotes

On when Prince cast her in a 2009 music video: "I began to understand my full potential… Having someone say ‘I trust you and your talent’ was all it took to start feeling like I could be in control of my career and make things happen on my own.”

On having to prove herself at ABT: "I had times when, as an African-American woman, I felt that I didn’t belong in the ballet world."

On determination: “Even when you think you’ve arrived, you have to keep working. Not everyone is going to like you or think you’re the right fit. But hearing no makes you stronger.”

On support: "There’s no wrong way to create your own path, but you have to find support. On those days when you want to give up, you have to have people in your life who are going to keep you striving.”

Photo Courtesy Of: Regan Cameron/Cosmopolitan