You’re in Beyoncé’s visual album
Lemonade. How did that happen?
Her publicist emailed my mom. At
first, I was like, “It’s totally fake, it’s
totally fake.” I sent it to my agent and
she contacted Beyoncé’s publicist.
They emailed us on a Monday, and I
was in New Orleans filming on Friday.
I was there for four days. And I got
to meet her! One of my best friends
absolutely adores her, so I was trying
to see if she could sign something
for him. I didn’t have anything for her
to sign, so she said, “Oh, I’ll just call
You were just promoted. Where do
you see your new position taking
Every little girl dreams of being a principal one day. But for me, the older I
get, the more I just want to grow as
an artist. So if I don’t get to become
a principal, it’s okay. I really want to
move people when I dance.
You’ve been at Dutch National Bal-
let for a while now. Does it feel like
It’s my third season. I should know
What roles are you looking forward
Dutch by now, but I still don’t speak
any! But even when I was 15 and had
the opportunity to perform in The
Hague, I felt at home right away—
that’s the reason why I wanted to go
there. It’s a very international com-
pany, so it’s nice that we’re all from
different places and have a little family
there. Because we all miss our families.
I’m hoping I’ll do something really
nice in La Bayadère, but I’m not quite
sure. I don’t want to put pressure
on my director just because I got
Do you have any other projects in
This month I’m going to Guadalajara
to perform in Isaac Hernández’s gala to
raise money for his school in Mexico.
I’ve known him since I was 8 years old.
This is an amazing project for me because I’ve wanted to open up a school
in Sierra Leone so kids can dance there
for free. But right now I’m focusing on
Dutch National. We have an amazing program coming up, and we’re
working with Justin Peck on Year of the
Rabbit. I’m also studying for college
right now. I’m going to be studying
human rights, but right now I’m just
working on English courses.
Do you ever picture yourself danc-
ing for an American company?
I would love to dance for San Francisco Ballet. But right now I really love
Dutch National. If it works out that I’m
invited to a different company, then
great. But I’ll probably stay here for
quite a while. n
news | 10 MINUTES WITH...
The ballet powerhouse moves up
the ranks at Dutch National Ballet.
BY LAUREN WINGENROTH
Michaela DePrince has defied the odds again and again. She overcame incredible
circumstances, rising from an orphanage in war-torn Sierra Leone to join Dutch
National Ballet, where she was recently promoted to grand sujet (demi-soloist).
With principal roles and book deals under her belt, DePrince is still doing the
impossible—managing her schedule as a college student, an international guest
artist, an ambassador for War Child Holland (an organization for children living in
war zones) and, most recently, a featured dancer in Beyoncé’s Lemonade.
DePrince in David
Dawson’s A Million
Kisses to my Skin