DENVER (CBS4) – Misty Copeland shattered diversity barriers when she became the first African American principal ballerina dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, one of the three leading classical ballet companies in the United States.

On Wednesday, she met with CBS4’s Britt Moreno before speaking at the Colorado Women’s Foundation annual luncheon, which is sponsored by CBS4.

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CBS4's Britt Moreno interviews principal ballerina Misty Copeland (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Britt Moreno interviews principal ballerina Misty Copeland (credit: CBS)

Moreno asked Copeland, 34, about the recent athletes kneeling during the national anthem, including Denver Broncos Brandon Marshall.

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“I think it’s important for us to be individuals and to stand up for what we believe in. As Americans, we should have that right. That is what America is supposed to stand for is freedom of speech,” said Copeland.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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Copeland also has a message for young women and girls, she wants them to see that it’s powerful is to be unique.