Traditionally, ballerinas have been depicted as delicate, tutu-wearing twirlers who majestically fly through their air with seemingly minimal effort.
In recent years—with help from the Oscar-winning Black Swan to the documentary First Position—the tough-as-nails truth behind the uber-competitive dance world has been uncovered. But no one has done more good for ballet than Misty Copeland.
Besides becoming the first (ever) African-American principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, Copeland has placed a spotlight on the art form that’s never existed before—with a now-viral ad campaign with Under Armour showing off her sculpted calves, envious poise, and never-ending determination.
“When I’m going from my home to rehearsal or back home at the end of the day, I want to be incredibly comfortable, but it’s still New York City—so I want to look cute.”
Since teaming up with the brand in 2014, the 5-foot-2 dancer has continued to blow the lid off what people think it means to be a ballerina. And yesterday, when Under Armour announced the launch of its latest athleisure line, Inspired By Misty Copeland, the standard-issue, leg-warmers-and-leotard aesthetic was nowhere to be found.
Pushing far past traditional “dance wear,” the collection, which launches online today, features 13 styles that are not only designed with the highest level of sweat and performance in mind, but are also perfect for a chic, post-class look. Think drop-crotch joggers and neoprene bomber jackets, as well as hygge-approved cardigans and it-color-of-the season sneakers.
“I’m literally in a leotard for eight hours of the day, dancing and training,” Copeland explained at an event unveiling the collab. “When I’m going from my home to rehearsal or back home at the end of the day, I want to be incredibly comfortable, but it’s still New York City—so I want to look cute.”
Spearheaded by Kate Williams, Under Armour’s head of women’s design, the brand was able to mesh Copeland’s high-fashion street-style influences with actual performance-ready looks. The pieces, which range from $45 for a seamless sports bra to $199 for a cropped bomber jacket, need to stand up to everything from planks to pirouettes. (“Ballerinas are tougher than football players” after all, Copeland says.)
Scroll down to check out the highlights from the ballerina’s Under Armour collection, now available online and in stores.
Under Armour Inspired by Misty Copeland
If you’re ready to add some dance-inspired challenges into your fitness routine, check out the glossary for all things barre so you can plie in style. Or check out the ballet-esque sneaker trend that’s blowing up—even Hailey Baldwin’s a fan.