Frank Sinatra was one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century, building and starring in a career as an award-winning singer and film actor.

Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, on December 12, 1915, Frank Sinatra rose to fame singing big band numbers. In the ’40s and ’50s, he had a dazzling array of hit songs and albums and went on to appear in dozens of films, winning an Oscar for From Here to Eternity.

He was once quoted as saying, “The best revenge is massive success.”

In June of 2015 the gorgeous and talented Misty Copeland was named the Principal Dancer for the American Ballet Theater. In the world of dance and ballet, it doesn’t get any better than that.

For anyone that doubted her, humble pie has been served. article, article,

Recently Ms. Copeland has found fame and some fortune outside of the ballet world appearing in commercials, television shows and receiving acclaim for her best-selling memoir.

As Female Competition International begins to introduce the magical world of dance into our exciting and intense female submission wrestling world, which is home to many professionally trained dancers, it’s nice to know who the players are especially at the top of their dance game.

What does it mean to be a principal dancer?

A principal dancer is a dancer at the highest rank within a professional dance company, particularly a ballet company. article, article,

A principal may be male or female. The position is similar to that of soloist; however, principals are hired by (or promoted from within) a company to regularly perform not only solos, but also pas de deux.

In ballet, a pas de deux is a dance duet in which two dancers, typically a male and a female, perform ballet steps together.

It is a coveted position in the company and the most prominent position a dancer can receive. The term is used mostly in ballet but can be used in other forms as well, such as modern dance. The terms prima ballerina, premier danseur, and première danseuse have been used to denote similar levels of prominence. They are usually the star of the ballet. The term senior principal dancer is sometimes used as well.

Misty was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California. She began dance training at the relatively late age of 13 at the San Pedro City Ballet.

Ms. Copeland at the Lauridsen Ballet Centre, San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on a full scholarship. She joined the main company as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001 and was appointed a soloist in August 2007.

An earlier highlight was when she appeared in a Diet Dr. Pepper commercial and danced with Prince on his 2010 tour. article, photo article, photo

The New York Times reported, “Fittingly, the moment of her promotion was captured on video and shared on Instagram. “Misty, take a bow,” Kevin McKenzie, Ballet Theater’s artistic director, could be seen saying, before colleagues congratulated Ms. Copeland, who seemed to be fighting back tears. Her promotion was lauded on social media by, among others, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Prince, who had featured her in a video.

Over the past year, whenever Ms. Copeland, 32, danced leading roles with Ballet Theater, her performances became events, drawing large, diverse, enthusiastic crowds to cheer her on at the Metropolitan Opera House, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. After she starred in “Swan Lake” with Ballet Theater last week — becoming the first African-American to do so with the company at the Met — the crowd of autograph-seekers was so large that it had to be moved away from the cramped area outside the stage door.”

In the ballet industry, principals not only earn the respect of the dance world but are also paid more, dance bigger roles and see their photos in programs, as well as their names in larger type. Ms. Copeland last seemed on the verge of promotion in 2012 after a breakthrough performance in the title role of Stravinsky’s “The Firebird,” but she was sidelined by injury.

She hasn’t been without her critics. The Times continues, “While Ms. Copeland has earned many good reviews when she has danced big roles, including some calling for her promotion, other critics have suggested that she still has work to do to make some classical roles fully her own.

When she danced the double role of Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake” for the first time, in New York last week, she did not do some of the traditional bravura fouetté turns — which critics forgave, but noted. But she has also established herself outside traditional dance circles with her books (her memoir and “Firebird,” an illustrated children’s book), ads and public appearances, and has received help shaping her public image from her manager, Gilda Squire.”

Isn’t success grand? Nothing silences the critics more. article, article,

As much as Misty has achieved, there is more.

The respected news source informed, “She has risen to a renown in the cultural mainstream that is rare for a ballet dancer in recent decades. In January 2014, she signed with Under Armour, a maker of athletic goods, and several months later, her first ad with for the company’s I Will What I Want campaign made a splash.

Over the last several years, Copeland has been the subject of countless stories in dance-specific publications as well as in mainstream media outlets, including an in-depth New Yorker profile. She was also the protagonist in the documentary A Ballerina’s Tale, which screened at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. In April of this year, Copeland graced the cover of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015 issue. She has garnered a loyal following on social media, with nearly 50,000 followers on her very active Twitter account and more than half a million on Instagram.”

Female Competition International is ecstatic to briefly introduce Misty Copeland to our competitive female grappling industry. As the two worlds come closer and closer with performances at the Dojo, it’s wonderful to be guided by the light and magic of dance.

Misty Copeland is the perfect lead.

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.