Arts, Culture & Media

Ballet Dancer Michaela DePrince: From Sierra Leone to the Stage

Ballet dancer Michaela DePrince lived in Sierra Leone during the country's civil war.

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DePrince recalled a picture she found in Sierra Leone of a ballet dancer that gave her inspiration.

"It was a picture of a ballerina… And seeing that dancer and seeing it at such a terrible time of my life, it just completely gave me hope and I thought to myself: if I ever got adopted maybe I could be just like this person. And I just kept holding onto that magazine until I got adopted. And now I'm a ballerina. Well, hoping to become a ballerina!"

Despite the overwhelming challenges of surviving a war and coming to America, Michaela has emerged on top.

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    Ballet dancer Michaela DePrince. (Photo:

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    Ballet dancer Michaela DePrince. (Photo:

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    Ballet dancer Michaela DePrince. (Photo: