A profile of ballet student Shannon Harkins by Lonnae O'Neal Parker in The Washington Post.
The problem in modern ballet is the problem of the color line. Scan the rosters of the nation’s top companies and African American dancers are rare, while African American ballerinas are nearly nonexistent. The American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland, Harkins’s idol, is a major exception. Copeland, ABT’s first African American female soloist in two decades, taught Harkins during a summer intensive program last year. She’s helping spearhead Project Plié, an ABT initiative to increase the number of minorities in ballet.