Botwc Firsts

Inspired By Misty Copeland, 11-Year-Old Ballerina Makes History As First Black Lead In The Nutcracker

Inspired By Misty Copeland, 11-Year-Old Ballerina Makes History As First Black Lead In The Nutcracker

11-year-old Charlotte Nebres just made history as the first Black Marie, the young heroine and lead in the New York City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” Good Morning America, reports. 

Nebres is a student at the School of American Ballet and is the first Black ballerina to play lead in the play since its inception in 1954. The young starlet spoke to The New York Times about the accomplishment saying, “It’s pretty amazing to be not only representing S.A.B., but also representing all of our cultures. There might be a little boy or girl in the audience seeing that and saying, ‘Hey, I can do that too.’”

Nebres said she was inspired by seeing trailblazer Misty Copeland perform. “I saw her perform and she was just so inspiring and so beautiful. When I saw someone who looked like me on stage, I thought, ‘That’s amazing.’ She was representing me and all the people like me,” she said. Nebres was just 6-years-old when Copeland made history as the first African American woman principal at the American Ballet Theater. Now Charlotte is blazing trails of her own for young aspiring ballet prodigies.

Charlotte’s mother, Danielle Nebres, who was also a dancer growing up, described her daughter as quiet and artistic and said the experience is very meaningful for them. “You don’t know what people are seeing in your child, and they are definitely seeing something in her,” Danielle said. 

But young Charlotte is really just focused on dancing. “It just feels like when I dance, I feel free and I feel empowered. I feel like I can do anything when I dance. It makes me happy, and I’m going to do what makes me happy. You don’t need to think about anything else,” she said. 

Congratulations Charlotte! Keep reaching for the stars!