Misty Copeland shattered barriers everywhere when she was named the American Ballet Theatre's first African-American female principal dancer this summer. Now she has taken on another challenging role: teaching Jimmy Kimmel how to dance ballet.
It should have been an easy task, as Kimmel is usually the person who comes to mind when one thinks about elegance and grace. Unfortunately, Kimmel and his security guard Guillermo arrived for rehearsal after a big lunch of pizza and calzones (come on, Jimmy, that's a Ballet 101 no-no) and were a little sluggish when they approached the barre for the first time.
Clad in pink leotards and tutus, the men learned some steps from the history-making Copeland in preparation for a special performance in Brooklyn on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
"I'm extremely nervous about this performance, for them," Copeland admitted into the camera. "My hope is that they don't fall and hurt themselves."
After learning a few more steps that would make up the routine, Kimmel and Guillermo got a big surprise after they laced up their pointe shoes for the first time.
"You look so sad, Guillermo," Kimmel chuckled, as he watched his friend crouch over the barre, in far too much pain to stand on his toes.
There was one other thing causing the new dancers a bit of distress: the leotards didn't cooperate well with their male anatomy.
"One of my testicles is like coming out of the tutu area," Kimmel said, following his first attempt at a changement. "When you dance like I do, every ballet is The Nutcracker."
Guillermo wasn't having much better luck.
"This dress is tight for my penis," Guillermo said, looking down at his clothing. "
But, ballet is nothing if not learning to work through pain for the good of the art. They perservered, learning the rest of their routine.
Despite her best efforts as an instructor, Copeland wasn't feeling great about their progress: "Ballet was born in Italy over 600 years ago, and today, it died."
Though the pair were no closer to having anything resembling artistic talent at the end of the lesson, the show had to go on. Ready as they'd ever be, Kimmel and Guillermo were joined by Copeland to perform ballet live in front of an audience.
Check it out here:
(All images via Jimmy Kimmel Live!)