Michaela DePrince was born on January 6, 1995, in war-torn Sierra Leone during the country’s decade-long civil war. She lost both of her parents at a young her father was killed by rebels and her mother died of fever and starvation years after. Michaela had vitiligo, a disease that causes patches of skin to lose its color. In Michaela’s native land vitiligo was considered a curse of the devil and because of this, her uncle abandons her at an orphanage. There she was taunted and abused by the women who were supposed to care for her. They called her the devil’s child.
One day Michaela found blowing in the wind a magazine, and on its cover was a photograph of a #beautifulballerina en pointe, once Michaela saw it gave her hope and determination to one day become just like that #ballerina. Soon after discovering this magazine, an American family adopted Michaela, and she became the eighth of their eleven children, nine of whom were adopted.
Michaela’s new parents Charles DePrince and Elaine DePrince recognized her #loveforballet. They enrolled her in #ballet classes and supported her passion for the art. While taking #ballet classes, Michaela worked hard to develop her skills so that she could overcome stereotypes of conventional beauty and racial barriers in the #worldofballet.
Michaela was featured in the ballet documentary #FirstPosition and appeared on #DancingwiththeStars. At age seventeen she performed with the #DanceTheatreofHarlem professional company. At eighteen she joined the #DutchNationalJuniorCompany as a second-year member and apprentice to the main company. Now at age twenty-one, Michaela has completed her second year with the main company and was promoted to the rank of Grand Sujet for the #DutchNationalBallet’s main company for the 2016-2017 #ballet season.
Besides #dancing, Michaela loves reaching out to disadvantaged youth, with whom she shares her message of hard work, perseverance, and hope, in order to inspire and encourage them to strive for their #dreams.
#dancelife #dancephotography #balletdancer #dancerepublic #dancers_in_training #dance4life #danceeducation #ballet #dancer #drc96