August 25, 2014 12:00 PM

WHO SHE IS

A 31-year-old soloist in New York City’s prestigious American Ballet Theatre.

WHY SHE’S TRENDING

Her new commercial for sports apparel brand Under Armour racked up an impressive 3 million views in two days. In it, she performs dance moves across a stage as a girl’s voice reads a rejection letter: “You have the wrong body for ballet.” Copeland, who was raised by a single mother in San Pedro, Calif., and took her first ballet class at the advanced age of 13, never received such a letter. However, she says her 5’2″ frame “is what a dancer’s shouldn’t be, with breasts and muscle and bulky legs.”

HOW SHE WORKS OUT

“During rehearsal season, I take an hour-and-a-half ballet class every morning and rehearse up to eight hours a day, five days a week,” she says. “Ballet targets every single muscle in your body.” In the summer’s off-season, she adds Pilates and the elliptical machine to her dance regimen.

WHAT SHE EATS

A pescatarian, she says, “I eat clean. But I don’t believe in dieting. I like sweets, and I don’t deprive myself. I believe in portion control, and as a dancer I have that discipline ingrained in me.”

HER MESSAGE TO OTHERS

Copeland mentors young girls and has written an upcoming children’s book, Firebird, about finding inner confidence. Her advice to aspiring dancers: “Don’t let other people’s negative words define you.”

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