First Look: Ballerina Misty Copeland’s Natural Beauty Shines in New Photography Book

by Stacy Lambe 9:30 AM PDT, September 26, 2016
Photo: Gregg Delman

Ballerina Misty Copeland is not only a world-renowned dancer -- she is also a stunning beauty.

So it comes as no surprise that esteemed photographer Gregg Delman -- whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times and Vogue -- was captivated by her after first seeing an image of her in a magazine, prompting him to cold call her manager to see if Copeland would allow him to photograph her. “One look at Misty and I intuitively knew she was special,” Delman writes. Of course, she said yes, becoming the subject of Delman’s first book, Misty Copeland (Rizzoli).

Photo: Gregg Delman

When Delman reached out to Copeland, this was well before the ballerina became the first African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater on June 30, 2015. Of course, her profile was already on the rise following an acclaimed performance as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, landing on the Time 100 and starring in a powerful ad for Under Armor. She was also the subject of the 2015 documentary, A Ballerina’s Tale, which chronicles the highs and lows of being a professional ballerina.

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Yet, all that pretense and fame was stripped away.

“Because of the unassuming simplicity in our preparation, I didn’t expect to see the exceptional classic beauty that was consistently created in our photographs, and I was blown away by how full and finessed the end product always was,” Copeland writes in the foreword of the book. “For the majority of our shoots there was no glam squad or walls of wardrobe -- I did my own hair and makeup, wore my own clothes, and just like that, we’d get to work.”

And the results are stunning. Check out ET’s first look at the book before it hits shelves on Sept. 27.

Photo: Gregg Delman
Photo: Gregg Delman
Photo: Gregg Delman

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