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Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince

Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince

Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince

Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince
This story is simply heart touching. Michaela DePrince, born Mabinty Bangura, was orphaned in war-torn Sierra Leone at the age of three, when her father was shot dead and her mother died of starvation. In the orphanage the three-year-old girl had to face tough life. She remembers being called “the devil’s child” and being ill-treated by the orphanage’s carers because she had vitiligo – a skin condition that causes blotches of lightening skin. Children in the orphanage were given numbers ranking them from the most favored to the least. DePrince was ranked 27th out of 27 children. Michaela DePrince was just three years old when she saw a ballerina for the first time. “I was just so fascinated by this person, by how beautiful she was, how she was wearing such a beautiful costume,” she remembers. “So I ripped the cover off and I put it in my underwear.” The girl was told – ‘Black dancers can’t be ballerinas’

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Black ballet dancer Michaela DePrince

“I didn’t get enough food, I didn’t get the best clothes, I got the last choice of toys,” she says. “I was in the back and they didn’t really care if I died or whatever happened to me.”

Life changed once in 1999 when at the age of four she was adopted by a couple from New Jersey and began a new life in the United States. Today, at the age of 17, she is one of the ballet world's rising stars.

Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince

Life changed once in 1999 when at the age of four she was adopted by a couple from New Jersey and began a new life in the United States. Today, at the age of 17, she is one of the ballet world’s rising stars.

"I worked very hard and I was en pointe by the time I was seven years old," says DePrince. "I just moved along fast because I was so determined to be like that person on the magazine and she was what drove me to become a better dancer, a better person - to be just like her was what I wanted to be."

Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince

“I worked very hard and I was en pointe by the time I was seven years old,” says DePrince. “I just moved along fast because I was so determined to be like that person on the magazine and she was what drove me to become a better dancer, a better person – to be just like her was what I wanted to be.”

She says she almost quit dancing when she was 10 years

Black ballet dancer Michaela DePrince

She says she almost quit dancing when she was 10 years old after a teacher told her mother that she didn’t want to put “a lot of effort and money into the black dancers because they just get fat and get big boobs and big thighs.”

Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince

But those words only served to make DePrince even more determined.

Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince

“I’m still trying to change the way people see black dancers, that we can become delicate dancers, that we can be a ballerina.”

Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince

Black ballet dancer Michaela DePrince

DePrince also says she’d like to start an art school in Sierra Leone. She wants to use her remarkable story to teach little girls on the continent that if they have a dream they can definitely achieve it.

Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince

Black ballet dancer Michaela DePrince

“Even though you might have had a terrible past and even though you might have been through a lot and might be still going through a lot, if you have something that you love and that makes you happy and that gives you that feeling inside to continue growing up and that makes you want to have a good future then you should focus on that and not focus on the negative.”

Beautiful ballerina Michaela DePrince

Black ballet dancer Michaela DePrince

Black ballet dancer Michaela DePrince

edition.cnn.com/2012/08/29