In the “Hope” sequence of Beyoncé’s new visual album, Lemonade, a ballerina takes the stage as Beyoncé sings the words to “Freedom.”
The dancer in a white dress and headpiece is 21-year-old Sierra Leonean-born ballet star Michaela DePrince.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, DePrince admits she thought it was a joke when she found out Beyoncé wanted to cast her in the video. At the time, DePrince was living in Amsterdam, where she performs as a member of the Dutch National Ballet. It wasn’t long before she was on a plane to New Orleans. Shooting for the scene took place over the course of two days in December. According to the WSJ article, the dancer choreographed her own moves.
“She said I looked like I was a creature from another planet,” DePrince tells WSJ of her encounter with Beyoncé. “She walked up to me and said, ‘It’s such an honor to have you here.’ I was really cheesy and said, ‘The honor is mine.’ I was on cloud nine.”