Michaela DePrince is a professional ballerina currently with the Dance Theatre of Harlem company, who was adopted as a young child from Africa by a US family.

She lost both her parents during the war in Sierra Leone and was taken in by a couple from New Jersey.

Now she is a professional dancer in Harlem and wants to set an example to other young black ballerinas while challenging long-held stereotypes.

Al Jazeera's Cath Turner reports from New York.