Ballet’s roots are in 16th century Italy, but it is now a global phenomenon. American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland has brought incredible visibility to black women in ballet, and black women and girls are sharing their own inspiring photos under #browngirlsdoballet. The hashtag is an evolution of the Brown Girls Do Ballet photo project, started by TaKiyah Wallace of Some Sweet Photography in 2012.

We weren’t able to find the source of all the photos included, so please help us out in the comments if you recognize these women.

National Ballet School in Havana,Cuba
National Ballet School in Havana,Cuba

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Amber J. Merick!
Amber J. Merick!

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@land_day captured by @omarzrobles
@land_day captured by @omarzrobles

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The Howard University Dance Arts program
The Howard University Dance Arts program
Dance Dimensions in District Heights, MD
Dance Dimensions in District Heights, MD

And then there’s this incredible video that has now gone viral of dancers from the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center.

Although the video got some pushback from ignorant folks calling it ghetto, an actual CMDC dancer named DeQuila RaQuel McCoy broke down the dance form, which is called, “hiplet”.

2. This is a trademarked form of dance called hiplet that was formed out of this studio. Just because it isn’t the classical ballet some of you small minded people are used to seeing does not make it invalid. We know being innovative and doing anything different outside of the small bubbles people tend to live in is asking too much.

3. This is a clip of ONE piece, and not an entire piece for those who are quick to say this isn’t ballet and ask where is the rest of the choreography.

4. For the dummies who claim this isn’t ballet because they need to see more technique, I dare you to meet these girls in the studio and trust you won’t be able to keep up. Most of these girls have been training since they were toddlers, assuming that many of those who commented are actual dancers … probably not though.

We would agree. Ladies, what do you think of ‘hiplet’ and the incredible photos?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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12 Comments on "12 Stunning Images from the #BrownGirlsDoBallet Campaign"

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[…] Source: blackgirllonghair.com/2015/12/12-stunning-images-from-the-browngirlsdoballet-campaign/ […]

Jacky

Lovely! All of them!

Rodney McDaniel

The last photo that was posted is from Dance Dimensions in District Heights, MD

Guest
Why was my comment deleted? All I said was, this obsession with showing whites that blacks can do ballet too, is bordering on feigning for white accpetance. BW being able to master ballet should not be seen as phenomenon. What’s really a phenomenon is that whites can no longer deny our exceptinal abilities–which we’ve always known. So these “look at me, look at me, look at me white people, I’m a black girl who can do ballet too” reeks of seeking whites approval. The issue wasn’t with us, it was with them. Yet, we’re still the one bending over backwards… Read more »
eljjai

that’s an interesting perspective.

kxlot79
It didn’t occur to me that these things were about showing Whites anything. For me, such “Blacks do_____ too,” is more about showing other Black people a wider vision of what it means to be Black. For centuries, many of those kinds of activities were restricted for Black people, if not something financially out of reach for the average Black person, then racially out of reach by American segregation; and if neither of those, then culturally policed by our own people (for example, I can say for certain in my own family and in the families of many of my… Read more »
towninc

I 100% agree. It’s about shining a light on our own accomplishments and exposing our talents, skills, creativity, strength, etc. to inspire greatness in each other

Guest

Your perspective is just as valid as my perperctive.

funm
As someone who always wanted to learn Ballet but got put off because I was given the impression it was physically unobtainable as a black female. This imagery is very refreshing. Ballet is a very powerful art form that focuses on fragility but requires immense strength. Your constantly being your a good Dancer. ‘Oh but it coz your black.’ but then when it comes to certain dance styles your not expected to be as good or professional or accurate. The point isn’t to imitate another race but to teach individuals that your boundaries are limitless. You can be very ‘Black’… Read more »
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[…] Black girls doing ballet are simply awesome… Check out these amazing photos of black ballet dancers sharing their inspirational pictures under #browngirlsdoballet hashtag. These girls can do dance from “Swan lake” flawlessly, so they are the real black swans! Source: BGLH […]

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[…] Black girls doing ballet are simply awesome… Check out these amazing photos of black ballet dancers sharing their inspirational pictures under #browngirlsdoballet hashtag. These girls can do dance from “Swan lake” flawlessly, so they are the real black swans! Source: BGLH […]

trackback

[…] Black girls doing ballet are simply awesome… Check out these amazing photos of black ballet dancers sharing their inspirational pictures under #browngirlsdoballet hashtag. These girls can do dance from “Swan lake” flawlessly, so they are the real black swans! Source: BGLH […]

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