Michaela DePrince was born Mabinty Bangura in Sierra Leone. The tragic civil war in Sierra Leone left Michael orphaned and abandoned at an orphanage by her uncle by the age of 4. A picture of a ballerina from an American magazine gave Michaela hope and a dream. Fortunately for her, Michaela was adopted by a family in the United States where her adopted mother signed her up for ballet classes.
Michaela raised through the ranks of her ballerina classes and performed often. She has since gone on to perform with the Harlem Dance Theatre and the South African Dance Theatre. Her story was also featured in the documentary, First Position. Her story is very inspiring.
I am so proud of young and successful women of colour like Michaela DePrince for sharing their stories. In ballet, there are very few black women who belong to the theatres, which you learn from dancers like Michaela and Misty Copeland. It is great that they are speaking up about their successes and giving young girls hope and inspiration that they can do it too.
It is so heart breaking that Michaela lost both of her biological parents at such a young age. It is wonderful that she found such loving parents in Elaine and her husband in the USA. Michaela is only 18 or so right now and I think she has such a bright future in ballet, whether she continues to dance professionally or opens a school or where ever else her dance career may lead her.