Kw-logo-smaller

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

7 Comments

latest videos

Ballet-0_poll

Which language is the word

  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Portugese

related stories

Micro_ivivva-dance-style-mic
In or out of the studio, ivivva athletica has styles that look and feel great, leaving you free t...
Micro_ballet_micro
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 dancin...

Random in the forums

Alois_Trancy_
Here try writing aboutBacterial contamination I wonder if you've heard that song
reply 23 minutes
shae508
"Alois_Trancy_" wrote:I forgot that not all people are as comfortable as righting dark things like me >~> (It's not that..it's just...TWs....)
reply about 1 hour
Alois_Trancy_
I forgot that not all people are as comfortable as righting dark things like me >~>
reply about 1 hour
shae508
"Alois_Trancy_" wrote: "shae508" wrote: "Alois_Trancy_" wrote: Awkward noises  use cut- I'm Pretty Sure It Won't Matter If I Die I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter I'm pretty sure they don't care Stained red Taking too quick breaths They can't see Their eyes glaze over Ignoring me Am I invisible? So unimportant Unneeded Slice Doesn't matter No matter how numb I feel My razor helps me feel real When the world is but a dream And everything is not what it seems The color red Keeps me in reality  Trickle trickle Down my wrist  I love giving my skin A bloody kiss Can you see me? Are you still ignoring me? Are you ignoring the signs, Of a girl who wants to die? Slice, slice slice You don't care But it doesn't matter I'm smile and lie But mostly the latter I'll hide the scars on my wrist And every night I pray For deaths life sucking kiss ..... ..... -gasp- .... Can you see me now? ... Now that I'm dead? (I may have to ask for a slow down on some of these..depressing topics. I enjoy writing them but all the same...ever heard of a trigger warning? I'm pretty much writing about my triggers and it's not really fun...) awkward noises  im sorry .-. It's fine! Really! Some days it's just a bit harder to handle thinking of that stuff. Those topics might be a bit later or shorter cause it's hard to deal with them.
reply about 1 hour
Alois_Trancy_
"shae508" wrote: "Alois_Trancy_" wrote: Awkward noises  use cut- I'm Pretty Sure It Won't Matter If I Die I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter I'm pretty sure they don't care Stained red Taking too quick breaths They can't see Their eyes glaze over Ignoring me Am I invisible? So unimportant Unneeded Slice Doesn't matter No matter how numb I feel My razor helps me feel real When the world is but a dream And everything is not what it seems The color red Keeps me in reality  Trickle trickle Down my wrist  I love giving my skin A bloody kiss Can you see me? Are you still ignoring me? Are you ignoring the signs, Of a girl who wants to die? Slice, slice slice You don't care But it doesn't matter I'm smile and lie But mostly the latter I'll hide the scars on my wrist And every night I pray For deaths life sucking kiss ..... ..... -gasp- .... Can you see me now? ... Now that I'm dead? (I may have to ask for a slow down on some of these..depressing topics. I enjoy writing them but all the same...ever heard of a trigger warning? I'm pretty much writing about my triggers and it's not really fun...) awkward noises  im sorry .-.
reply about 2 hours

play online games