Oxygen announced a new series, tentatively titled The Misty Copeland Project, in which Copeland, 32, will mentor aspiring dancers as they follow their dreams in N.Y.C.
“With the opportunity of a lifetime and chance to catapult to the top of the ballet world, these aspiring dancers’ passion, commitment and hard work will be center stage in Misty’s Master Class,” says the network’s press release.
Copeland – who didn’t take her first ballet lesson until she was 13 – knows what it takes to succeed in the dance world.
“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 tells PEOPLE.
Despite being criticized when she was younger for having a body that “is what a dancer’s shouldn’t be, with breasts and muscle and bulky legs,” Copeland remained dedicated to her craft and went on to become the second African American soloist in the American Ballet Theatre.
Hopefully, she will pass along that same perseverance to her new students.
“Don’t let other people’s negative words define you,” she says.