Misty Copeland
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Misty Copeland takes the lead

Misty Copeland talks to Jane O'Brien about why she has spoken out about being a African-American ballerina in the conservative world of classical ballet

When Misty Copeland takes the stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC as the lead in Swan Lake, all eyes will be on her - but that is something she has become used to.

Copeland, currently the only black soloist in the American Ballet Theatre, says she thinks it is important to talk about being a black woman in the very white world of American ballet.

"I do see a change," she tells the BBC. Talking about her experience has "forced people to make changes".

But Swan Lake was "not something I ever saw in my future, in terms of dancing the lead," she says. "It's incredible to be a brown swan."

Filmed by Franz Strasser and Colm O'Molloy. Edited by Bill McKenna.