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.

  • http://wearescenetoo.wordpress.com/ @t_lavette

    Agreeeee! I’ve always enjoyed the Arts. This semester my prof made us keep a blog and I chose to talk about minorities in performing arts. Loads and loads of unsung heroes in arenas where people might say “I didn’t know Black people did XYZ”.

    In October, I saw Audra McDonald at the Kennedy Center. By myself. In the GOOD seats. If you don’t know Audra played Naomi on Private Practice, Diddy’s wife in the made for tv version of ‘A Raisin in The Sun’, etc. Long story short she’s a classically trained ridiculously talent actress and singer. I didn’t feel like convincing any of my friends to go and pay so much for seats. I just said eff it and rolled solo dolo. Had an amazing time! It was just something almost overwhelming to see someone doing what they loved and sharing a God given gift. There were sprinkles of us in there but I was the only black person in my section. This older white woman even helped herself to my seat before I arrived. >_> And was nicely escorted to her seat once I arrived by the usher.

    Anywho, YES! Grab your girls and go see a show, performance, etc. Go solo if you must. Makes for a great date night too!

  • http://amoeslolo.tumblr.com aMoesLOLO

    Starting from very young age, I went to classic ballet lessons. When I became older I wanted to go on jazz ballet but then they stopped the balletschool. I was sad and disappointed when they stopped teaching, I still am.
    And it is true, especially with an opera you’re the only colored person.
    But that doesn’t stop me, to go to the theater.I like to go to the theater, but do not always have someone to come along. They prefer sitting at home. But going by yourself is not bad either.

  • 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!).

  • diamant

    élève = student
    elevé = raised

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