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Our Individual Journey Makes Us Unlike Any: Misty Copeland

We are all unique. Each day we rise to meet our own challenges head-on — and we do our best. Day after day of striving and trying and honing and failing and coming back and succeeding — that’s what we do. That’s our reality, and that’s what sets each of us apart as individuals. Nobody can do you better than you.

Embrace the challenge, friends. #MondayMotivation

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Through the Unlike Any campaign, each week we will honor under-recognized feats of female athleticism by showcasing women who cannot be compared to anyone who has come before them. We’re celebrating them — in film and poetry — for what they have achieved and elevating them to where they belong: Above gender roles. Above labels. Above convention. Above comparison.

In celebrating them, we celebrate you.

The first African-American named principal ballerina for American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland is proof that passion and dedication can break down personal barriers while opening new doors for generations to come.

“The path to your success is not as fixed and inflexible as you think.”


Misty Copeland | UNLIKE ANY
Poem by Saul Williams


The systemic structure
built to keep me in place
is the stage I dance on.
Black and Woman. Motherships, my mother’s hips beheld deep space. Astronaut of corporal grace.

Born in a land mine.

As an idea points its toe to flex to shape the form of possibility.

I am testament
twirled into afterthought
the touch and taste of epiphany.

To match my strength is to feel your own.

Yet, like any born
to blaze a trail
to sing a song
and land in jail
to risk it all
to change the game
to shift the form
and take its name
to follow stars
when chased by dogs
and pas des chats
to shatter norms
to solo and
to feel alone
to take up space
in history’s home
to harbor hopes
wishes and dreams
to bring the untold
into being.

The oppressor’s gaze ain’t all-eye-seeing I’m unlike any.

Saul Williams is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, actor and poet known for his distinct fusion of poetry and alternative hip hop. The New York native’s infectious words led the poetry scene before the undeniable beat in his performances led him into the world of music.


BE UNLIKE ANY WITH THESE COLLECTIONS

> Misty Copeland, Principal Ballerina
> Natasha Hastings, World Champion Sprinter
> Zoe Zhang, Actress & Taekwondo Black Belt
> Jessie Graff, Stunt Woman
> Alison Désir, Harlem Run Founder


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