The ballerina Misty Copeland has had a meteoric rise under unique circumstances. Rivka Galchen writes:
"Copeland is considered an unlikely ballerina: she is curvy and she is black, neither of which is a common attribute in the field. But it is her very late beginning and rapid attainment of virtuosity that are arguably without precedent for a female ballerina."
Photograph by Pari Dukovic
"Most ballerinas don’t have pensions, they rarely dance past the age of forty (injuries often end their careers earlier than that), and a soloist at A.B.T. earns between fifty thousand and a hundred thousand dollars a year. The great Anna Pavlova endorsed Pond’s Vanishing Cream."
"(Ballet costuming often seems ridiculous at first glance, but usually reveals its own special mechanics.)"