Misty Copeland is pointing toward success – metaphorically and literally. The 26-year-old SoCal native was the Music Center Spotlight award winner at the age of 15 (hailing her the best dancer in Southern California), and the first African-American female to be promoted to soloist in American Ballet Theatre history. The Big Apple resident takes a bite out of Los Angeles this week.



When did you start dancing?

When I was 13.



When did you join ABT, and describe that moment?

I joined ABT in 2001. I was 19 and thrilled. It was what I had always dreamed of.



What has been one of your greatest joys/achievements?


One of my greatest achievements was being promoted to the rank of soloist. I am the first African-American female to be promoted to this rank in over two decades. It was a very proud moment.



How does your work affect your life?


My work affects my life in a huge way. It is my life. It’s an art form that must be constantly worked at. I never really get to completely take time off or it will take twice as long to get back in shape. That definitely wears on the body.



What would you be doing if you weren’t dancing?

If I were not dancing I would love to be in culinary school. I really enjoy cooking. It is something I would consider doing after I retire.



What are some of your favorite things about Los Angeles?

The weather and the beach are my favorite things about L.A. I must say, the food is not bad either. It has the best Mexican food outside of Mexico, of course.



Talk a little bit about your future.


I have had an amazing career at ABT. I have been able to do so many incredible things. That said, I still have more goals for myself in the future. I would love to become the first African-American female principal dancer with ABT. I want to continue to open doors for other African-American ballet dancers and hopefully be an inspiration to someone.



The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is located at 135 N. Grand Ave., Downtown. For more information, visit musiccenter.org.