San Pedro dedicates intersection as Misty Copeland Square

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It was a triumphant homecoming for Misty Copeland, the first African-American female principal dancer at the storied American Ballet Theatre, as San Pedro honored her with a square dedication. (KABC)

It was a triumphant homecoming for Misty Copeland, the first African-American female principal dancer at the storied American Ballet Theatre, as San Pedro honored her with a square dedication.

The intersection adjacent to San Pedro City Ballet was dedicated as Misty Copeland Square on Monday.

Copeland began training at San Pedro City Ballet when she was 13 years old.

"You know, growing up in the atmospheres I grew up in, San Pedro was the only place I ever considered home," Copeland said during the ceremony at West 13th Street and South Pacific Avenue.

A mural of Copeland on the side of San Pedro City Ballet was unveiled in connection with the square dedication.

Copeland joined the American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in 2001. She became its second black female soloist in 2007 and was prompted to principal dancer in June.

"I always saw that for her, and I knew she had it in her to put in the work and make the world fall in love with her," said Cindy Bradley, artistic director of San Pedro Ballet.

Copeland taught a master class to 50 students at San Pedro's Warner Grand Theatre following the ceremony to raise funds for girls like herself to learn the ballet.

"It's possible to come out of a small town and succeed," Copeland said. "And I think you just have to believe in yourself and have support."

To donate to the DancED Steps Up outreach program, go to www.gofundme.com/SanPedroBallet.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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