When the American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland hits the stage, there’s more than meets the eye.
To get to her position — as one of the country’s most popular ballerinas, a lead in the current production of Swan Lake, and a hopeful principal dancer for the company — Copeland has networked, campaigned, and even used the services of a Goldman Sachs partner.
Bloomberg’s Amanda Gordon detailed the relationship between Copeland and Valentino Carlotti, who leads an institutional client group in Goldman’s sales and trading division, and who’s played an important role in the ballerina’s ascent to fame.
Carlotti is a “part adviser, part benefactor” to Copeland, according to the report. When they met, he began inviting her to galas and social events, and introducing her to important people in New York City’s cultural and financial worlds.
He likened the ballerina to a banker, and commended her “physical and mental toughness, the poise, the preparation” — qualities you need to be successful on Wall Street.
Both Carlotti and Copeland are black, and Carlotti acknowledged the barriers that Copeland might face in an industry that, like Wall Street, is dominated by white people.
“When pursuits of excellence comes in the form of someone like Misty, a black woman, it might just change perspective on what pursuits are for whom,” he told Bloomberg.