Will Black And Brown Girls Change The Face Of Ballet In 2017?

There’s an age-old stigma that maintains only a certain kind of pedigree (read: race, color) can do ballet. Yet, a photo of five beautifully diverse ballerinas has gone viral, debunking the received notion that being en pointe is reserved for Eurocentricity. The photo was first posted on the Memphis Collage Dance Collective’s Instagram.

READ: Misty Copeland Goes To Cuba And Speaks Ballet With Other Black And Brown Dancers

Two days later, said image was re-shared by Taji Magazine. The dancers, being of African American, French Guianese and Brazilian descent, are known as Brandye Lee, Daphne Lee, Kimberly Ho-Tsai, Nikki Taylor and Luisa Cardoso.

In an interview with Yahoo Beauty!, the company’s marketing director, Shalishah Franklin, explained the need for diversity in dance. She said, “This pervasive lack of representation within our industry and our media is a continued call to action for our company, to inspire the growth and diversity of ballet through a repertoire of relevant choreography and world-class dancers representative of our community.”

Franklin also told Yahoo Beauty! that there has to be something done especially about the lack of black ballerinas. “We are deeply concerned by the underrepresentation of black ballerinas,” she said, “not only in mainstream media, but in professional companies and ballet schools worldwide.”

READ: Laurie Hernandez Doesn’t Miss A Beat In ‘The Nutcracker’ With NYC Ballet

Hopefully this photo will not only make a change in the dance world, but anywhere prejudices exist. Take a look at some of the inspiring photos, below. Here’s to seeing #BlackGirlMagic emerge in the world of classical ballet, sooner than later.

Happy New Year from Collage Dance Collective!

A photo posted by Collage dance Collective (@collagedance) on