Michaela DePrince was born Mabinty Bangura on 6 January 1995 in Sierra Leone. She lost her parents when she was three, and was taken to an orphanage by her uncle. At the age of four, she and her best friend Mia were adopted by Elaine and Charles DePrince and taken to the US.
Inspired by a magazine cover with a ballerina on it, DePrince trained as a ballet dancer. She was one of the stars in the 2011 American Documentary First Position (which won her a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Ballet), and guest-performed on the television show Dancing with the Stars during singer Natasha Bedingfield’s live performance.
After graduating, DePrince joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York as the youngest member of the company. In 2013 she joined the Dutch National Ballet and has been promoted to Grand Sujet for the coming season. Last December Michaela performed The Nutcracker, it was her premier in a principal role with the Dutch National Ballet. She recently featured in Beyonce’s recent visual album Lemonade.