At the orphanage, they called her “the devil’s child”, but she became a world-famous dancer after being adopted.


Michaela DePrince is a world-famous ballerina who has performed with the Boston Ballet and has even appeared in music videos for Beyoncé and Madonna. She achieved fame thanks to her hard work and the support of two loving people: her adoptive parents, who have always fully believed in her. However, while this young woman’s story has a happy ending, her unlikely origins promise her a different path. Today we would like you to learn about Michaela’s captivating life story and be inspired on her path to success.

Before the adoption, Michaela’s life was utterly devoid of unicorns or rainbows.

Michaela was born in Sierra Leone in 1995. Her parents named her Mabinty, but when they both passed away, Her uncle abandoned her in an orphanage, where she became a nobody.

In an interview, the young woman recalls her life in that place: “They named us by number, from 1 to 27. The first was the favorite child in the orphanage and 27 the least.” Michaela was number 27, as she suffers from a rare skin disease called vitiligo. Because she was different, she was called “the devil’s girl” at the orphanage.

The girl found comfort in a friend. She was also called Mabinty, the 26th girl in that orphanage. The girls loved to sing, play make-believe, and tell share stories about what their adopted selves would be like.

From one moment to the next, the girl’s life took a turn like a fairy tale.

Meanwhile, Elaine DePrince, who lived in New Jersey, dreamed of adopting a child from Africa. She had plans to adopt Michaela’s friend Mabinty. But before making the trip, a mix-up occurred, which would later change Michaela’s fate.

In an interview, the adoptive mother, Elaine, recalled: “I got a call from the adoption agency. They told me, “Which Mabinty are you adopting? We have two ”.

And then Elaine found out that 12 families had rejected the other Mabinty because of her skin condition. After this revelation, she did not hesitate and decided to adopt both girls. Elaine will probably never forget her first meeting with Michaela, how sceptical the girl was of the adoption itself. “She was standing there with her arms crossed, very angry,” Elaine recalls. “I think she… she just thought she was going to get another rejection .”

Michaela’s adoptive parents became her loving heroes.

At this time, while at the orphanage, Michaela was deeply fascinated by a picture of a ballerina she had seen in a newspaper. Then, she began to dream of being a professional dancer, and she kept this dream throughout her childhood.

When she got to her adoptive parents’ house, she showed that photo to her mother, Elaine, and told her that she dreamed of having special shoes, like a real ballerina’s. Elaine was so excited and surprised that she couldn’t help but promise Michaela that she would dance one day.

The girl’s life in the US was taking a new turn, but at first, Michaela continued to fear rejection to such an extent that she slept with the light on. But the love and affection of her parents healed her heart. She soon found peace and began to pursue her big dream.

With her new life, Michaela began to work hard to make her sacred dream come true, and at last, she received a great reward.

Finally, as she settled into her new life, Michaela found success in dance classes and decided to become a professional dancer. She realized that she would have to face several challenges. Specifically, she was very concerned about her vitiligo. Before her first performance, she asked her mother to tell her if she could see the spots on her body from where she was going to sit in the audience.

Elaine remembers: “I said, ‘No, really, no.’ It looked like magic dust. And she answered me: ‘Oh, that’s great. I can be a professional dancer now .’”

At 17, she became the youngest dancer to perform at the Harlem Dance Theater in New York. Later, she was engaged by the Dutch National Ballet and now considers Amsterdam her true home. She perceives it as a dream come true and a success achieved.

“It’s not a fairy tale, you know?” he said. “You have to work hard. You miss a lot of things, you feel a lot of pain. But, you know, acting? I’m lovin ‘it”.

The young woman wants her story to motivate everyone.

Michaela has her role model: an African-American prima ballerina named Lauren Anderson. The young woman wrote an autobiographical book about her life story. Now Madonna expressed her desire to direct a film about Michaela, confessing that she was impressed when she found out about the dancer’s career.

Announcing her plans for the film, Madonna wrote: “Michaela’s life touched me deeply as an artist and activist who understands adversity. We have a unique opportunity to shine a light on Sierra Leone and make Michaela a voice for all the orphaned children she grew up with. It’s an honour for me to bring her story to life .”

What has inspired you the most about Michaela’s story? Do you know other people who have achieved success despite their humble and challenging beginnings?

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