SAN PEDRO (CBSLA.com) — A San Pedro woman has achieved one of ballet’s highest honors.

Misty Copeland is the first African-American woman to become principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre.

And CBS2/KCAL9’s Peter Daut Tuesday spoke with the woman who first saw Copeland’s potential.

Artistic Director of the San Pedro City Ballet, Cindy Bradley says it was during a free class she taught at the Boys and Girls Club that she first noticed the young dancer who would later make history.

“It is bigger than I ever could have dreamed, and I dreamed big for her!” Bradley gushed. She remembers how she took Copeland’s foot, placed it into a point on the floor, and how it stayed — beautifully.

“And I had a vision for her at that moment,” Bradley said.

Within just a few years, Copeland won dance competitions, and eventually, a spot with one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world, many calling her a prodigy.

For many ballerinas in San Pedro, Copeland is an inspiration.

“I think that it’s amazing that she worked so hard to get what she did. I think she deserved it,” student Emily Adams said.

Copeland has certainly beaten the ballet odds, and no one could be more proud of that than the instructor who first saw something special.

“I can’t watch her without crying through the entire performance. It’s just tears of joy,” said Bradley, who added she texted her former student today to congratulate her on the achievement.

She hopes Copeland will visit the studio later this year.

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