Have you ever been somewhere where you were one of a few, or more surprisingly, the sole black person in the room? Please do not tell me I am the only one that has provided a little hint of color in a theatre or venue.

If you are a fan of the classical arts—particularly ballet, you may see this a lot. Instead of feeling like the elephant in the room, relish the opportunity to embrace a new art form and enjoy yourself.

Granted, there is a lack of black ballerinas, so sometimes it is hard to want to attend events where you do not feel a kinship to anyone. However being one of a handful of black people in the room doesn’t mean one still can’t grab up a girlfriend and watch some stellar ballet moves. Who knows? It may even have you questioning your own flexibility.

Through conversations with other black women, I have found that many of us either do not know much about the arts, or are afraid to enjoy them because we often feel as if they aren’t geared towards us. In a world where black women are often marginalized and forgotten, it’s important for us to step outside of our comfort zone and experience different art forms.

One of the most beautiful and exciting things about life are the experiences that we create. Instead of hitting up the usual spots like shopping or dancing the night away, how about expanding your horizon? Experience something unique by watching dancers glide across a stage, actors display a plethora of human emotions, or a violinist pouring their heart into an instrument.

Browse your local newspaper or events website to look for dance groups. To get you started, check out Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, which is mainly comprised of black dancers. The choreography often has Afrocentric themes and is highly charged. Although I am not much of a gambling woman, I would make a wager that once you see them, you will become a fan. And if tutus and tights aren’t your thing, look into Rennie Harris Puremovement, or another dance group that suits your fancy. There are dozens out there, many of which that are hiding in your city.

Don’t be curious about the other side. Just buy yourself a ticket and enjoy the show sans popcorn. Who knows…you may even buy yourself a tutu and use your kitchen table or nightstand as a barre.

25 Comments

  1. SimplyComplex

    I started taking ballet and tap when I was 3, and continued until I was old enough to drive myself to my last recital-pointe shoes and all!! My dance career didn’t stop there so needless to say, I was OFTEN one of 2-3 black girls and MANY times the ONLY one! But that was ok because I loved what I was doing and would be the one put front and center because while I was the only black girl, I was also one of the best dancers in my class (until I was MUCH older). I do wish that more of us were interested in the arts, and it is sad to go to say an Ailey performance and 98% of the performers are of color but only 10% (or less) of the audience is. I introduced one of my friends to them for the first time last year, she LOVED it! I’m going to see them again this weekend (#excited!).

  2. diamant

    élève = student
    elevé = raised

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