“I don’t think I’m even close to fulfilling my potential. And I think also that, unlike a pianist or a flutist, an actor has an instrument that is constantly changing.” ~Kerry Washington
Janet Collins was the first black prima ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera Company, a position she held for three years. She made her debut in Aida and appeared also in Carmen, La Gioconda, and Sampson and Delilah. Collins was born in New Orleans on March 2, 1923, and her family later settled in Los Angeles. She graduated from Los Angeles City College and Arts Center School. Collins moved to New Yrok in search of a career in dance and made her debut in 1949. In 1950 she appeared in Cole Porter’s Out of the World, in which she danced the role of “Night.” She taught at the School of American Ballet, performed in concerts and on television, but became known chiefly for her choreography and her dance instruction.
Source: Black Firsts: Groundbreaking Events in African American History