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“The Ballerina’s Little Black Book” Showcases Black Ballerinas

By Victor Trammell

TaKiyah Wallace is a black woman  with a passion for dancing. In 2013, she founded Brown Girls Do Ballet, an arts and photography initiative geared toward highlighting young women of color in the world of dance.

Wallace is also the mother of a young daughter who aspires to be a dancer. However, in the world of ballet dancing, black women are an often underpromoted demographic representing this industry.

There is actually a great deal of young black women in America who are into ballet, which is a dance style more closely associated with “pale princesses,” according to author Olivia Goldhill and co-author Sarah Marsh’s September 2012 article  in the U.K.’s The Guardian publication.

Wallace has sought to change that. Three years after starting Brown Girls Do Ballet, she began her quest toward highlighting black ballerinas on Instagram. Today, the Instagram page has well over 80,000 followers. Wallace doesn’t just give black girls a chance to shine on her growing platform.

Brown Girls Do Ballet also helps girls attain scholarships as they are participating in dance. Black American girls are not the only ones who have participated in this initiative. Hispanic, African, Asian, East Indian, and Native American young ladies are also faithful participants in the Brown Girls Do Ballet project.

Something else new and exciting is coming for Brown Girls Do Ballet in 2016. According to Clutch Magazine Online, a book entitled The Ballerina’s Little Black Book is scheduled to be released for publication on June 6th. The book’s author is Brown Girls Do Ballet co-founder, Brittani Marie.

Marie is a former dancer as well. The book features interviews with other known names in the world of dance, such as  Misty Copeland, Aesha Ash, and Alicia Graf Mack. There will also be plenty of beautiful photos in the book, which will highlight many of the young dancers working with Brown Girls Do Ballet.

The book’s website had a message published, which stated that the book compiles a wealth of stories, advice, and training information directly from the women who are breaking down barriers” in the world of ballet.

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