Misty Copeland: 'Ballet Was the Light That Saved Me'

American Ballet Theatre soloist reveals athleticism of classical dancers.
5:51 | 11/05/13

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Transcript for Misty Copeland: 'Ballet Was the Light That Saved Me'
What -- goes through your mind when -- step out on the stage. You know for me I want to enjoy myself. You know I'm not really ever thinking about the audience -- -- -- in the audience. But of course you feed off of for the way they respond which is exciting and which is so great about -- performance. Every turning point staged -- matter how cruel to -- to -- list I want teen he better. Each time. You're so young and yet you're still a traditionalist a purist when it comes of the -- definitely a you know. Penis in different looking different not being that your typical classical ballerina. You know my. -- -- to change. History of ballet -- in the tradition of it that's what I love about it. I wouldn't be a part of this if that's not what I might I love the structure. I love just carrying on such an incredible art form. But. Just kind of being a different face for it. I was looking at the Italian -- again. Shots that you -- and and I mentioned to male colleagues that I was coming -- interview and he said. A whole -- -- -- -- simple. What Andrea and I know about sex symbol but. You know I think that. That's another thing that I just want to brought -- again the audiences of classical ballet and show them how many. Amazing parts their -- -- this world. And coming to different -- you know speaking of look I had dinner earlier and it's -- in India and -- some sensual. And all of these characters in the choreography. But there -- so many different colonies -- a feeling people aren't aware. So that's something that's in me. And it comes out with different. Characters I'm plane dancers don't have to be prim and proper -- -- I mean it -- actors and actresses so whatever rule we're taking on me that that comes out in the choreography returning here how we approach overall I think it's important for people to see yes beyond the stage. And to see the work that goes into -- I think that's what's gonna make people more interest. That we're not -- perfect little you know. Music box dolls that appear on the stage. But that there's so much that and that goes into what we do you know injuries I we've all had an experience -- things that football players go to -- basketball. Players so you're hardcore -- yeah we are I'd say that we train just as hard -- harder then. Any athlete it's. A day in the life misty Copeland everything's pretty similar. When -- minute rehearsal period I'm -- -- -- him. -- ballet class every morning to warm us up for the rehearsal -- that's at 1015. Until 1145 minute -- minute break before that rehearsals start. And we pretty much -- and I'll just I. Occasionally having a lunch break in there but sometimes you just don't have the time so. It's got tons of snacks in your battery can call from the studio and have -- delivered. And then when -- in the theater and performance season for pretty much in the theater from 10 AM to almost 11 PM at night. Just rehearsing and performing. But it's nice to have that consistency when -- in the theater it's just cannot keep telling. You had this very famous collaboration reference and it it again and sort of broaden the audience. To look at ballet again -- him in a different way what were you trying to say in collaboration what what what what was the message. You know when when I first we'll put in touch with him. You know I thought very carefully about why -- like I don't want to ever do anything to sacrifice my art form. Or to just -- -- and that's exactly what he did performing at Madison Square Garden you know on -- on the Lopez tonight show. It is made it cool. We've all seen the movie Black Swan -- is there any truth to that fiction that there's -- -- like you know darkness in the world. Shall. I begin any art farmer and a anywhere I mean is if you dig deep enough there's always opposing sides. And I think fit each of the story lines and and things that happen and blacks -- came from some truth. But it was it was very traumatic I loved the movie personally. But no that's not ours that's not our world it's -- -- everyday life and most people don't experience any of that as a classical dancers. When you're in -- company usually in that company for. An indictment part of -- and 1060. And might consider this at Camden and grown up with so many of these people so it's just not it's not that kind of -- petition. What mountains do you have yet to climb in the world balance so many. There's just so many roles that I would like to do. I would like to be given the chance. Teen to principal roles to then decide whether or nomination -- principal. And for that to be based on my talent and nothing else.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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