1. A video of Homer Hans Bryant’s students dancing en pointe to Disclosure and Sam Smiths’ “Omen” recently went viral online.
The Instagram page where the video was shared, Brown Girls Do Ballet , is a start-up organisation dedicated to promoting diversity in ballet programs.
2. Brown Girls Do Ballet calls the craft “well-trained fun”, and the main purpose is to make classical ballet more relevant to younger generations.
The particular concept is titled “Hiplet Sur Les Pointes” which follows the notion of being “trained in tradition and dipped in versatility.”
3. The Instagram movement started in 2013 by TaKiyah Wallace who had noticed the lack of cultural diversity in her toddler’s ballet school.
Fearful that her child would feel different in a class where no one resembled her, Wallace joined forces with co-founder Brittani Marie, a former ballerina turned media professional.
4. In striving to touch the lives of young ballerinas across America, they joined their passions and skills to provide an outlet to highlight the diversity that exists in the ballet industry.
5. Wallace and Marie told BuzzFeed, “We realised the missing link to diversifying ballet was a resource that spoke to their identity. We wanted to convey a message of acceptance, vision, and possibility.”
6. “We wanted to be that voice that empowers young girls even in the face of adversity. We chose to start with showing them examples.”
7. Now with a following of just under 45,000, “Brown Girls Do Ballet” are aiming to expand beyond their Instagram, with plans to launch a dance apparel store for brown ballerinas on Black Friday.
In a joint venture with Mahogany Blues Dance Apparel, the store plans to cater to ballerinas of colour, providing shades of nude that are not often made available to them in traditional stores.