06 Jan Happy Birthday Blog: Michaela DePrince
Born: January 6, 1995
Known For: Surviving a civil war, becoming a principle ballet dancer.
For today’s blog, we’re wishing a very happy birthday to Michaela DePrince, a Sierra Leonean-American ballet dancer. Michaela was born Mabinty Bangura in the war-torn Sierra Leone in the middle of a 10 year civil war. She lost both her parents and was abandoned at an orphanage by her uncle because her vitiligo (a disease where skin loses pigmentation) was considered a curse. While living at the orphanage she came across a magazine with a ballerina on the front cover.
After she was adopted by American parents, she began to pursue and train as a ballet dancer in the States. Michaela’s story became more prominent after she was featured in the 2011 documentary ‘First Position.’ She graduated from the prestigious American Ballet Theatre in NYC and is now a soloist with the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. With the help of her mother, she wrote her memoir ‘Taking Flight’ which was released in 2013, and has been optioned into a feature film. Aside from her dancing, Michaela also spends time working with disadvantaged youth and was named the Ambassador for War Child Netherlands in 2016.
She’s an impressive young woman, and we hope she has a wonderful birthday!
Read more about Michaela here.