Michaela DePrince is "the ballerina that flies." Orphaned at age three in war-torn Sierra Leone, DePrince was malnourished and sick when she and her "mat-mate" at the orphanage were adopted by Elaine and Charles DePrince of New Jersey. Inspired by a photograph of a ballerina in a magazine, DePrince trained as a ballet dancer and is now with the Dance Theater of Harlem. "I think no matter where you come from and what you've been through, having a loving family and support is all you need to achieve your goals."


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  • martina

    such a precious story, that love of a family helped her live her dream, and become such a fantastic dancer. If only all the children were supported and helped to live their dreams!

  • Patricia Stein

    Just to let you know that your info is outdated. She is in Holland, dancing with the ROYAL Dutch Ballet and is currently on leave

  • Amirah Hundley

    This video made me think how we all say how tough are life is when looking at her life that was tougher then i could imagine, so i think that we shouldn't really complain. Why are we complaining,what for? This video also made me realize that no matter what I've been through i can still overcome that and do something beautiful .

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  • Learn more about Michaela DePrince's background in this article from the BBC World Service.
  • Watch "Why I Dance" for some perspectives on the meaning and diversity of dance from those that set their bodies to music.
  • Do you have a life-long goal that you haven't achieved?  Take the first step - set up a support group of friends and family to help you attain your dream.

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