Misty Copeland began her ballet career at age 13. Two years later, she had won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards, and began her studies at the Lauridsien Ballet Center. Accepted into New York's American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company in September 2000, she is the company’s first African American female soloist in two decades. Her 2012 performances included Thirteen Diversions, Firebird, and Le Corsaire. In 2015, Misty Copeland made history upon being named the first African-American female principal dancer in the company's 75-year history.