Misty Copeland on Finding Your Voice - Dragonwing Girl

Misty Copeland on Finding Your Voice

Misty Copeland - Studio Rehearsal

Resilience. Strength. Grace.

All characteristics of premier athlete and of barrier-breaker, Misty Copeland. Despite being told her form didn't match historically accepted ballet techniques and that she was too athletic, Misty redefined what it means to be a ballerina. Misty Copeland is the first black female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theater. She recently spoke with Susan Jaffe, Dean of Dance at the UNC School of the Arts in Chapel Hill, NC, to share her experiences and how she found her voice through her art. Here are our five favorite takeaways from their conversation.
  1. Evaluate the source of comments and opinions, and then decide how much weight they deserve. Negative comments might have derailed Misty's love of ballet, but instead, she chose carefully to whom she would listen and discovered the wisdom of listening to herself.
  2. Mentors play a significant role. Mentors helped guide Misty through challenges and provided the support network needed for success. Her first dance teacher, Cindy Bradley, was instrumental in setting Misty on the course that would shape her future.
  3. Resilience is the attitude you use to overcome challenges. It's not enough to keep trying, you have to see setbacks and failures for what they are: opportunities to learn and grow. It can be applied to how you rebound from a bad practice - you choose to focus on what went wrong, or you decide to focus on how you can do better.
  4. Love who you are because that is the source of your strength. Misty loves her muscular body, and it's what won over critics. What most saw, in the early days, as a negative, she turned into an asset.
  5. Keep it simple, and it will inform how you control your body (and mind.) When asked how she keeps her upper body so still, Misty shared her philosophy to keep it simple and to not add anything unnecessary to a move. This dance tip can be applied to any sport and really, to any part of our lives.
With these reflections, two more words come to mind when describing Misty Copeland.


Intelligence. Wisdom.

Celebrating its 15th season, Carolina Performing Arts is amplifying the creative leadership of women through performances and art. Check out their schedule for upcoming events. (Keeping with ballet, Wendy Whelan is on the schedule!) If you enjoyed this article, consider saying or leaving a comment below. Shop Dragonwing Girlgear Now
Previewing the National Women's Soccer League - Dragonwing Girl

Previewing the National Women's Soccer League

In November of 2012, the soccer world heard exciting news from U.S. soccer president Suni Guladi about the creation of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The eight-team league will begin this spring and features many prominent soccer players including FIFA player of the year Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Heather O’Reilly. While some of the franchises are not new, the NWSL is, the first of it’s kind with a college and supplemental draft. Many of the teams have already been in existence Here is an exclusive analysis Dragonwing girlgear’s team by team preview for this season. BOSTON BREAKERS Location: Dilboy Stadium, Somerville, MA Head Coach: Lisa Cole Key Players: Heather O’Reilly, Sydney Leroux Outlook: Last year, the Breakers won the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL) Elite regular season title with an 11-3 overall record. Led by Coach Cole, the team has shown consistent success in professional league play, although several players have come and gone. In 2011, it had eight members of the world cup team on its roster, establishing itself as a formidable opponent that has seasons of winning, experience and viable coaching. Visit their Website WASHINGTON SPIRIT Location: Maryland SoccerPlex, Germantown, MD Head Coach: Mike Jorden Key Players: Ali Kreiger, Caroline Miller (MAC Hermann Trophy Finalist) Outlook: Washington D,C’s newest professional sports team will be in action and will work closely with D.C. United to bring soccer success back to the D.C. area. Last year, the D.C. United Women, a team in the USL’s W-League finished the season ranked third in their league and had their season come to a disappointing end with a 1-0 loss at the hands of the Ottawa Fury. 10-time Virginia State Cup champion Mike Jorden will be at the helm for the Spirit who will look to use their youth and speed to make a statement to the rest of the league. Visit their website FC SKY BLUE Location: Yurcak Field at Rutgers Univeristy, Piscataway, NJ Head Coach: Jim Gabarra Key Players: Christie Rampone Outlook: Despite the lack of huge stars on this team, U.S. national team captain Christie Rampone is certainly capable of leading and establishing her team as a tough foe. The team did not compete last year in the Women’s Professional League, but they did send several of its members for a March tour in Japan. This team shouldn’t be ruled out, but they may face some difficulty to reach the top of the standings. Visit their website CHICAGO RED STARS Location: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL Head Coach: Rory Dames Key Players: Shannon Boxx, Amy LePeilbet, Zakiya Bywaters Outlook: Winning the first overall pick in the NWSL college draft, the Red Stars selected Pac-12 player of the year Zakiya Bywaters. The team will be without defender Amy LePeilbet this season due to an ACL injury, so they will look to Shannon Boxx to keep the defense steady. Success has followed this franchise, especially in recent years. The Red Stars were US National Cup Champions and finalists in the WPSL Elite league both last year and in 2011. A deadly combination of success and experience should give Chicago an outstanding advantage this season. Visit their website WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH Location: Sahlen Stadium, Rochester, NY Head Coach: Aaron Lines Key Players: Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd Outlook: Opposing teams must send out their best against FIFA player of the year and all around soccer start, Abby Wambach. Wambach is a beloved native of Pittsford, NY and since announcing her signing, season ticket sales have doubled, according to Sahlen stadium president Pat Eroli. Added attraction is midfielder Carli Lloyd, Wambach’s teammate in the 2011 World Cup. The buzz around this team is huge and places the Flash as a major contender for the championship. Visit their website PORTLAND THORNS FC Location: JELD-WEN field, Portland, OR Head Coach: Cindy Parlow Key Players: Alex Morgan, Christie Sinclair, Tobin Heath, Rachel Buehler Outlook: Just by roster allocation alone, the Thorns are the expected favorite to win the league. The team has deep experience at the Olympic level and Canadian Christie Sinclair is one of the best strikers in the world. Put Sinclair with Alex Morgan, and the Thorns may be the highest scoring team in the league. Star power alone may push this team deep into the season and coach Cindy Parlow can certainly get them there. The two-time gold medalist and former Hermann trophy winner at UNC brings success everywhere she goes and there is little doubt she will do so with the Thorns. Note: Morgan suffered a twisted left ankle in a U.S. national team friendly match against Scotland on Feb. 9. The team listed her officially as day-to-day, but she should be good to go for the season opener. Visit their website SEATTLE REIGN FC Location: Starfire Stadium, Tukwila, WA Head Coach: Laura Harvey Key Players: Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo, Amy Rodriguez Outlook: Seattle poses the toughest threats to Portland, and we are looking forward to an exciting regional rivaltry. located in the same region may create an intriguing rivalry that will excite fans. The Seattle area is well known for its soccer, with goalkeeper Hope Solo coming home to play for the team. A strong midfield will likely propel Seattle into contention. Visit their website FC KANSAS CITY Location: Shawnee Mission North District Stadium, Overland Park, KS Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski Key Players: Lauren Cheney, Nicole Barnhart, Renae Cuellar Outlook: According to ESPN contributor, Julie Foudy, FC Kansas City received the “second-strongest allocation of players.” Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart will be solid in net, having backed up Hope Solo in both the Olympics and World Cup. She earned starting experience when she had to step in for Solo who was injured during the qualifying stage of the Women’s World Cup. California native Renae Cueller is an up and comer who played for Mexico during the World Cup is drawing attention from around the world. Add crafty Lauren Cheney and this core of talent is a potent force. We are predicting KC could be a dark horse in the league championship. Visit their website
Protein Bars + Youth Athletes - Dragonwing Girl

Protein Bars + Youth Athletes

granola bar - nutrition

Protein bars are a staple at youth sports games and tournaments. Individually packaged and promising quick energy, they're often chocked full of ingredients that may or may not provide the best nutrition. Dragonwing Brand Ambassador Abby G. takes a look at these game-day go-to snacks and shares her discoveries.


Athletes need a snack that is 75% carbs and 25% protein to provide energy, and repair and build muscle during activity. Check the ingredient list and nutrition label of your favorite snack bar to know if it has the right balance of protein, fats, and sugar. Yes, sugar; it has a bad reputation if it is refined sugar, but not when it comes from natural sources and whole foods such as low-fat milk and dried fruit. The fiber in the fruit causes the sugar to metabolize slower, leaving your athlete feeling fuller and with more energy. Sugar from natural sources does not cause inflammation, an added, important benefit.
Erin Palinski-Wade, a registered dietitian, recommends the "rule of 5." Having at least 5 grams of protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat results in a filling pre-game snack choice.


Post-workout, these nutrients repair muscles, replenish the body's glycogen stores, and prevent muscle soreness. Athletes need to stay hydrated and consume similar healthy food with protein and carbs. Protein bars are a good fit since appetites may be temporarily dulled from a strenuous workout, or other options may be too heavy. Look for choices composed of whole foods. Micro-nutrients and essential fiber provide the body with the nutrients needed to repair muscles and replenish the body's glycogen stores. It also helps prevent muscle soreness.

Understand What You're Buying

Often the ingredients lists for bars are long and unrecognizable. After being refined and processed, these ingredients lose many of the nutrients essential to muscle repair. Know the difference between granola bars and protein bars. While granola, purchased or homemade, can be a healthy snack, it may not provide what your young athlete needs during their sports season and workouts. Want to know more? Check out these resources for making smart nutrition choices for your daughter's next workout.


  1. Forego bars loaded with refined sugar and apply Palinski-Wade's Rule of 5.
  2. Read labels and choose whole foods over processed or refined ingredients.
  3. Plan for healthy pre-workout snacks and recovery foods that provide steady energy and recovery nutrients.

Let us know what bars you've found best for pre and post-game, practices, and workouts. Dragonwing Icon


Special Thanks to Abby G. for her research and for compiling great resources we can all use.


Dragonwing Chill Weight: sports leggings, capris, fitted tops for girls

Click to add Chill Weight Leggings to your cold weather season shopping cart.