The rumor going around was that American Ballet Theater principal ballerina Misty Copeland was coming to Mumford and everyone was excited about meeting the first African American to hold that position.
In truth, Copeland was never supposed to come, but on Jan. 14, two other dancers from ABT came to Mumford to give a master class for about 40 students.
“Even though Misty didn’t come, students were so excited to interact with professional dancers from such a prestigious company,” dance teacher Marsae Mitchell said.
Mitchell invited her entire seventh hour intermediate dance class to the master class along with the best students from her beginning classes.
Sophomore India Hudson is interested in becoming a professional dancer, and was recently added to the DPSCD All City Dance Company, which picks the best dancers from DPSCD schools to participate in one collaborative company. Hudson said she got a lot out of the class.
“They told me things about what life is like for a dancer, and it was fun to be learning new things related to what I like to do,” Hudson said.
She also said she was surprised they came to Mumford.
Michigan Opera Theatre dance coordinator Kim Smith arranged the visit. She said MOT travels around the metropolitan area helping students and aspiring dancers by introducing them to professionals. She said they have a partnership with DPSCD.
Anthony Smith, the deputy executive director of the DPSCD’s Fine and Performing Arts Department, came to watch the master class.
“We chose Mumford for the master class because the dance program is new and we wanted to support it by exposing the students to professional dancers,” Smith said.