In celebration of Black History Month, NYLON is running a spotlight series called Black Girl Power... The Future Is Bright. Every day, phenomenal black women from different industries will be featured to tell their stories—revealing how they became who they are, showing what they have accomplished, and pinpointing how they navigated their careers. Black women deserve to be celebrated 365 days of the year, and we hope that this series will inspire everyone to believe in the power of #blackgirlmagic.
Michaela DePrince is a member of the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. In addition to landing this incredible position, the 21-year-old ballerina has already published her own memoir. Taking Flight showcases DePrince's journey from her early childhood as a war orphan in Sierra Leone to the present. Encouraged by her adoptive mother to tell her story, DePrince is literally an open book and shares every single detail. As if that wasn't challenging enough to overcome, DePrince also has the skin condition vitiligo. And yet, none of that has ever held her back from breaking out and being a star.
"I hope to become the best ballet dancer that I can possibly be," DePrince said in an email. "I am striving to reach the stars as a prima ballerina, but my most important reason for wanting this is because of the effect this will have on the world of ballet and the very young ballet dancers that come after me. I suppose that I hope to change the history of ballet."