“Remember, I was only four years old and lived in abject poverty, so I was most influenced by her luxurious costume and pink satin shoes. However, I also was fascinated by the fact that she was standing on pointe, so I spent a lot of time trying to walk on the tips of my little bare toes.” - Michaela DePrince nee Mabinty Bangura
Tonight Michaela DePrince will appear on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, performing a pas de deux with Adé Chiké Torbert choreographed for the occasion by ABT Ballet Mistress Susan Jaffe. Michaela is in her final year at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in New York.
The rising dance star had very humble beginnings in Sierra Leone. Nee Mabinty Bangura, Michaela had lost both parents to the civil war by age 3. A year later she was adopted by Charles and Elaine DePrince of Philadelphia. The family also adopted two other girls from the same ophanage.
Michaela now 17, dances both classical and contemporary and she will be featured in ‘First Position’ an award winning ballet documentary that follows six young dancers from around the world as they prepare for the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious ballet competition’s in the world.
You can catch Michaela tonight April 24th 2012 on ABC at 9:00PM EST on “Dancing with the Stars”. She will be dancing to a live performance by singer Natasha Bedingfield.