Meet New Friends!

Recommended friends are based on your interests. Make sure they are up to date.

Kidzworld Logo

Michaela DePrince Bio

Teen ballerina Michaela DePrince has overcome remarkable circumstances and danced around danger to become the toast of the dance world. Orphaned by the war in Sierra Leone, the 17-year-old dancer found her feet after being adopted and brought to America, she even appears in the recent ballet documentary First Position. Find out more in her Kidzworld Bio!

Alone in Sierra Leone

Born Mabiny Bangura in Sierra Leone in West Africa, Michaela was orphaned by the age of three years old, her father killed by revolutionaries and her mother starving to death. She was taken by an uncle to live at an orphanage where she was shunned by the other orphans for having a skin condition. Michaela says that in her war-torn homeland she saw frightening things every day, but when she came across a glossy magazine photo of ballerina effortlessly happy and free, she knew what she wanted to be, and kept the picture close to her at all times.  Along with her best friend Mia at the orphanage Michaela was adopted by a couple from New Jersey, who brought them to the States for a new life. Michaela told Teen Vogue.

"I was in such a bad situation, so the fact that this person was so happy and enjoying life—it made me hope that I could be that happy someday. My rebelliousness in Sierra Leone helped me survive there, and it stayed with me until I moved to the States and realized I was in a safe place with caring parents.”

Budding Ballerina

When she reached the U.S. Michaela showed her new parents her long-cherished magazine photo after trying to find toe shoes in her mom’s handbag! They decided to enroll her in The Rock School for Dance and later when the family moved and she couldn’t find a good enough school Michaela went to a full-time dance boarding school to pursue her passion.

"I missed my family desperately, but ballet is what I wanted to do" 

First Position

Despite excelling as dancer at such a young age Michaela constantly encountered racism in the dance world, with many people feeling that she didn’t have the body type or look required for a professional ballerina – luckily she was undeterred and eventually found a role model when she saw black dancer Heidi Cruz perform. Michaela’s mother went to the trouble of dying her pointe shoes dark brown so that she didnt’ stand out in the classic peach ballet gear.

Michaela has gone on to wow audiences all over the world with her incredible dance talent, and was featured in the documentary First Position, all about teenage ballerinas training and trying to make it in the dance world – and director Bess Kargman knew she had picked a future star with Michaela!

Check out the trailer for First Position below!



Have Your Say

Do you dance? Let us know in the comments section below


Related Stories

In or out of the studio, ivivva athletica has styles that look and feel great, leaving you free t...
Ever since style icon Audrey Hepburn made ballet flats a staple in the 1960s when she paired them...
I’m a dancer, and everyone in my level thinks I’m the best. I’m starting to take one of my classe...
Looking for a way to get in shape, improve your flexibility and have fun? Ballet dancing might be...

Which language is the word

  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Portugese

Random In The Forums

genius@23 posted in General:
@Iris- Thank youuu (: and also for this lovely note  [s:sm3/1jw1] [s:sm3/1jw1] You mean a lot to me Surupa. I'm glad to have met someone like you ^^ @DavidBecker Ahaha your typical displeasing yet amazing humour xD THANK YOUUU ^_^ @Abbergrl Omg I don't even know how to react to this lovely paragraph. You've been a special friend to me too 'cause you're so amazing, cheerful and lovely and a really cute little kid LOL xD And thanks a lot  [s:sm3/1jw1] [s:sm3/1jw1]
reply about 1 hour
AlphaT posted in Debating:
In code it's gif, in formal writing it's GIF. 
reply about 2 hours
Abbergrl posted in General:
always* not ays.. and I put a special typo for you too lol.
reply about 3 hours
Abbergrl posted in General:
AASTHA, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I know that I am probably nothing, but you are a very special friend and I will never forget you. I will always think of many people even after I leave kw and become old, this for sure :p and you'll definitely be one of them. You're awesome and don't let temptations lure you on the wrong path. ays be happy and try to make the most of this day, however terrible or whatever it seems to you. I'd tell anyone that.And I will pray for you, that you enjoy your day and be happy in life. I love ya soo much. Now where is that stupid heart emojiiiiiiiii :pByeeeeeeeee and hav fun.. :p Can't I say something else? I keep repeating this.
reply about 3 hours
DavidBecker posted in General:
If I could wish Aastha a happy birthday in a paragraph, it would be awesome. But, she's such an awesome friend that, it would be a sin to just confine it to a paragraph. And I'm not writing this because I'm too lazy to type LOL. Happy Birthday Aastha. :D
reply about 3 hours