Diversity in Ballet

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There are many notable African American dancers and events in ballet history. In 2015 the lack of racial diversity in ballet became front and center. It was noted that few of the top ballet companies featured dancers of color. 

The reason for the lack of diversity in ballet is in part because of tradition, lack of imagination and lack of opportunities for young dancers. 

Traditionally ballet was a European artform. The white tutu and ballet blanc were a part of ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle and La Bayadère. Dancers needed to appear white. When dancers of color auditioned to be included they were told they needed to lighten their skin to fit in. Body types also needed to be identical.

Ballet is also a high priced art form for a more wealthy audience. Ticket prices can be out of reach for some who wish to go to the ballet. It may also be difficult for a serious dancer to find the means to fund a future career.

The world of ballet is changing because of dancers who continue to break barriers because of the artform they love. Read on for more information!