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Misty Copeland: Should She Stay or Should She Go?

January 16, 2000

As Misty Copeland's mother, I am greatly troubled by the misrepresentation of my family in your article "Solo in the City," by Allison Adato (Dec. 5).

Misty is a loving yet strong young woman. She makes her own decisions with the caring guidance of our family and close friends. She is not the weak and easily manipulated person the article portrays. Misty is, and has been, in charge of her own destiny.

She has invested in her future by returning home to finish high school before accepting a contract offer and career with the American Ballet Theatre. Her maturity came through in her decision to return to her family after material items were dangled in front of her.

She continues to excel academically with a 3.8 average at the end of her junior year and has continued to have an exceptional dance career and training under Diane Lauridsen of Torrance's South Bay Ballet. Misty's earnings are deposited in her bank account and used only as needed, for Misty and by Misty.

As the mother of a very beautiful, gifted daughter, my number one concerns are her happiness and well-being, as well as those of my five other children. Our family has been through difficult times, but we are still a strong unit, a testament to our enduring love. I have every confidence that Misty will always know that her family loves her for who she truly is, and will always be there for her.

Sylvia Delacerna

San Pedro

*

I've had the privilege of seeing Misty Copeland dance. What a talent! What a lovely young lady.

Kudos to the Bradleys for offering her the chance to be exposed to the ballet world. Let's hope Misty's mother gets her own act together and allows Misty a starring future.

Muriel Sachs

Mission Viejo

*

I hope Delacerna someday will put her ego aside and will understand that there is nothing "elitist or snobby" about Cynthia Bradley providing Misty with a safe, healthy and loving environment.

Amy Lukehart

Long Beach

*

As a former teacher and special friend of Misty Copeland and her family, I was concerned that readers might miss or misinterpret some of the points in your article.

Misty's contentment with her life and her family situation is best summed up by her comment on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Magazine she autographed for her mom: "To my number one fan, my loving mother."

Elizabeth M. Cantine

Rancho Palos Verdes

*

After reading your piece, I sat at my kitchen table and wept. Once many years ago, as a promising young dancer myself, I was given an opportunity to train with the best. But between my own teenage insecurities and my parents' wish that I "have a good education to fall back on," I stayed put, finished my education and got a sensible, professional job. My dancing muse, disappointed in me, left and never returned.

Nearing retirement shortly, I often wonder what might have happened. An opportunity like that rarely knocks twice. It didn't for me. I hope it does for her.

J.B. Grover

Murrieta

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