5 Highlights From #CreateGood Day Five: Misty Copeland Gets Real About Being a Legend at 35
New York, it’s been real. After five fun-filled evenings in the heart of Soho, today marks #CreateGood’s final day in the Big Apple. But you didn’t think we’d let our week-long pop-up event go out without a bang, did you? We started off the day with puppies, learned how ballerina Misty Copeland deals with becoming a legend at 35, and rounded out the evening with a serenade from Jewel (yes, that Jewel).
If you couldn’t make it to the final evening of#CreateGood, don’t let a case of FOMO get you down. You can check out the top five highlights from the final day below. We also live-streamed our panels so that you can relive all the girlboss knowledge anytime you want.
1. We combined the two best things in the world: puppies and pancakes. Can all brunches come with a side of puppies from now on, please? This morning, we teamed up with BarkBox and Pupstarz Rescue to bring a bunch of pups (who are all totally adoptable) into the #CreateGood space.
2. We experienced yoga 2.0. After a Saturday night in the city that never sleeps, a communal detox was very much needed. We brought in the fitness gurus from 305 Fitness for a yoga sesh with a dance-inspired twist. This is not your hippy aunt’s yoga class, people. Attendees got their namaste on to a mix of slow jams and R&B.
3. We had an impromptu dance party. Sonja Rasula eats, sleeps, and breathes creativity. She’s devoted her career to entrepreneurship, spreading creative thinking, and teaching folks how to grow a community. She’s also the mastermind behind CAMP, a four-day phone- and email-free conference in which 200 creators escape into the mountains of California.
Rasula opened up the night (and pumped up the crowd for Misty Copeland’s fireside chat) with a mini dance party. She told the audience, “When you dance, you just let go. Dance is a universal language. No matter where you go, you can dance and instantly connect with other human beings.”
And just like that, a Missy Elliott track started playing and the crowd simultaneously connected and busted a move.
4.Misty Copeland got real about what it takes to make history. Misty Copeland is not your typical ballerina. The 35-year-old dancer made headlines across the world in 2015 when she became the first Black principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.
Copeland began by talking about her childhood. “We didn’t always have money and food,” she told Brit Morin. “We were struggling to survive. The thing we had as a family was music.” Copeland remembers dancing for the first time at seven years old but says she didn’t start pursuing it professionally until she was 13. While that’s somewhat late in the world of ballet, Copeland has more than made up for lost time.
Asked if being the first Black principal dancer at her company ever feels like a burden, Copeland was quick to say she always thinks of it as a blessing. “I knew I was representing so many people that weren’t given the opportunities that I’ve been given throughout history […] I’m always thinking about those young girls who are looking at me. I want to to be a beautiful representation for them.”
5. Say it with us:Jewel is not here to be another statistic. Like Copeland, Jewel had a tough childhood. To close out the night, Jewel spoke about how it’s her life’s mission to be more than a number. She moved out of her house at 15 and found herself homeless after denying sexual advancements from her boss. She performed small gigs to make a quick buck and hitchhiked all across the US. Throughout that experience, Jewel was determined to be more than a statistic. But at the same time, she found herself facing a myriad of mental health issues with no resources.
To cope, she decided to lay down her metaphorical armor and get super real on stage with her music. The audience really responded and she developed a local and national following. Eventually, she was offered a million dollar advance to sign with a record label. But she turned it down because she was determined not to be another musician with a price over her head.
“I made being a whole happy person my number one job, and I made being a musician my number two job,” she told the audience.
We would ask who else wants to recruit Jewel as a life coach but the concept of a life coach isn’t something Jewel is super down with. “I don’t think we should be taught to follow other people for right answers,” she says. “I think we should be taught to dig so deep inside ourselves, we know what the right answer is.”
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(Photos by Brittany Griffin/Brit + Co)