Dance Magazine just called David Hallberg the ‘new Misty Copeland’ and no one is ok with it

David Hallberg, American Ballet Theater and Bolshoi Ballet principal, has recovered from his ankle injury from 2014 and is happily back where he belongs: my bedroom. Just kidding, I mean the stage. He has expanded his artistry from stage to page in his new memoir, “A Body of Work; Dancing to the Edge and Back’ which will publish on November 7th by Touchstone, and Imprint of Simon & Schuster. He is also a new face of Nike as they celebrate 20 Years of Overprice..I mean, Innovation. Congrats David!

David Hallberg Stephen Colbert

via NYTimes – Stephen Colbert stole your Sugar Plum!

Who’s that other dancer who also has a memoir? (No, not you Gelsey Kirkland!) The one who’s also an ABT headliner? (Pipe down Marcelo!) The one who also has a major campaign with an athletic wear company? (Obviously not, Kate Hudson!)

Misty Copeland also has: a memoir, an ABT contract, and a line with athletic apparel company, Under Armor. That’s about where the comparions ends. Or does it?

Dance Magazine, hosting Mr. Return to Perfection (oooo, those feet) on their June cover, just posted a promo on facebook suggesting that David is the new Misty. (I had to screen shot it because I have the feeling this won’t last long on the everlasting record known as the internet.)

The original post:

Dance Magazine calls David Hallberg the new MIsty Copeland

And some responses as of last night:

Dance Magazine calls David Hallberg the new MIsty Copeland

Slow clap to Victoria, Mandy, and Megan. I also like Diana for bringing Michaela into the conversation.
Forgive me, but besides the aforementioned shared characteristics, the only things that David and Misty have in common are:


  1. A good PR manager
  2. People outside of the dance world might/ have heard of them
  3. I hate them both because I want their feet

I fail to see how the struggle to overcome cultural acceptance and racist ideals in movement and traditional roles despite physical ability is the SAME as the struggle to reclaim physical ability. Both are fantastic stories of triumph, inspiring, and deserving of praise. But the fact that both have managed to rise to great stature in the dance world and have excelled at sharing their talents in print and are perhaps a bit more well-known beyond does not make their accomplishments similar. And he isn’t, as Dance Magazine quipped, ‘taking a leaf from Misty’s playbook’ because he was already a Marc Jabobs perfume model years before Misty became a household name.

Inspiring, famous dancer is not a title, an utterly replaceable crown to be worn like a trend, for as long as someone can sit on the best-seller list or appear in a commercial.

This would be like saying, ‘hey David Sedaris writes memoirs. So that’s like, the new “Night’ by Elie Wiesel. Yup, Daivd Sedaris is the NEW Elie Wiesel”.

Just wondering, if David is the new Misty, does this mean the being ‘the old David Hallberg’ is up for grabs? I volunteer as tribute!

via Crushable

I think this comparison has a lot more to do with a dancer receiving attention from the media beyond the concert dance word than it does their achievements. It will be interesting to see if Dance Magazine puts out an apology or explanation for this very strange comparison between two very different struggles and stories of success.

Did you guys hear that David Sedaris is publishing his diaries? So between that and David’s book, I pretty much have my reading outside of grad school mandated¬†literature¬†all planned. Unless looking at the pictures in Dance Magazine counts.

David Hallberg Dance Magazine

via Pinterest

Apples and Oranges. Both fruit right? True. Luckily, I live in New York and get to see both beautiful dancers here in the Big Orange…..

See what I mean?

One thought on “Dance Magazine just called David Hallberg the ‘new Misty Copeland’ and no one is ok with it

  1. Pingback: Review: ABT’s Onegin | BODIES NEVER LIE

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