Misty Copeland Taught Disney About Ballet And Her Mission To Bring Ballet To The Masses “The Nutcracker And Four Realms”

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms isn’t centered on dance, the film features two ballet sequences. One was a performance within the movie and another over the ending credits starring Misty Copeland. 

“I think it’s important to first just to belief in yourself,  true belief that you don’t have to look like the person next to you. What you see on Instagram is not necessarily beauty just because that’s what you pushed in your face being an individual. It’s so much more beautiful and being unique. Own it and be confident in who you are.” Misty Copeland


I recently had the honor of sitting down with Misty Copeland during a round-table interview where she shared how she got involved with The Nutcracker And Four Realms, the message she hopes young women take from the film, the quote above this paragraph regarding acceptance, and her thoughts on appearing in future films.

Here’s how Misty Copeland got involved with the film A Nutcracker And Four Realms “Someone reached out to me which was kind of shocking.  I’m not an Actress but I understand the Nutcracker connection.  It was an organic fit and they were organic about letting me take the lead.  They told me Ballet isn’t our world so teach us we’re going to entrust that you’re going to have the right team.  So, they allowed me to choose a Choreographer and I selected Liam Scarlet.  He’s a Choreographer in Residence for the Royal Ballet in London and I had worked with him before. He’s young so that’s not common that you see some his age  in the Ballet world. I think when they brought the idea to me, it was based on the book, the Nutcracker Book.  It wasn’t based on the Nutcracker Ballet so there was no Ballet in this version of the story. They were we can’t do the Nutcracker and not have Ballet in it so they kind of created this Character for me, the Ballerina Princess. I’m kind of the story teller and a performance would be there to kind of share the story of the four realms and tell it to Clara so it’s awesome.”


Misty Copeland has been such an advocate in terms of empowerment an inspiration to young woman. During the interview she spoke candidly about the kind of message she wants young girls to take away from the movie. “I think that this film couldn’t be more of an amazing, platform to kind of introduce Ballet to the masses, to those people that maybe don’t feel welcome to step into through the doors of the Metropolitan Opera House it’s a place that you can dream and fantasize and so forth. I think the cast being as diverse as it is, it’s amazing.  For this next generation to see a Brown Ballerina in this Nutcracker film that will live on and it hopefully sooner than maybe 30 years that you’ll be able to say oh that’s what a Ballerina looks. It’s not being a black Ballerina is rare to me it’s incredible and empowering. Disney Movies have well representation and displaying to young people the possibilities appear limitless opportunities. That’s what I hope they take away.”

My favorite part of the interview was when Misty Copeland shared how as young girl being odd in the world she still found her calling. “I was 13 and I was in these baggy basketball shorts and socks and I thought this just isn’t right.  It just didn’t feel right and the first time that I granted a scholarship into the local Valley School is where I put on the pink tights and a leotard. I could see myself in front of the mirror that’s when it clicked I felt beautiful for the first time in my life.  I felt  being a black young girl super skinny with long legs with these massive feet, big hands,and little head, of which everything was just wrong in the real world. I stepped into the studio and it was like wow, everything is exactly right.  These are the proportions that gave me power and confidence  I’ve never experienced before.


I look forward to seeing more from Misty Copeland whether it’s a new film or book. When asked about what she foresees for herself I was left in awe. “I limited myself looking back never in a million years would’ve  wrote 3 books.  I’m just kind of leaving things open to fall into place organically and you know, something that I don’t think I realized till maybe 5 years ago was how much I enjoyed acting on stage.  Which is very different from using your words and acting, you know, it’s all through the movement in your body and um, but I do have a Production Company.  It’s called Life Emotion we haven’t done anything yet, it’s a long process but I think that I want to be able to be an authentic voice for Bat, for Dance in this Medium. It’s difficult to watch, you know, Dance Films and not always feel it’s truly representing who we are. I feel  that’s a responsibility that I have and want to do that in the future.

The Nutcracker And Four Realms is now playing in theaters checkout my no spoilers review and print the activity sheets I enjoyed the chance to sit and color with my nieces. Feel free to also checkout the world premiere details.


All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift.A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant  Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy and featuring a special performance by Misty Copeland, Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale. 


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