Finding Solutions to Ballet's Diversity Problem

January 30, 2015 8:22 PM

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Looking at its history, it's no surprise that ballet today is still very racially homogeneous. Ballet was born out of the Royal French Courts, developed under the Russian Tzar's imperial patronage, and in America, continues to be supported primarily by the wealthy white elite. But when ballet arrived in America, falling into our "melting pot" forced it to change. With the American idea that different perspectives strengthen our society, and therefore our art, ballet in America has been slowly transforming to become a truer reflection of our society. How is this change happening, and how can we continue to push for more inclusion in this art form that has had such a positive impact on the lives of so many people?

Ballet's diversity problem can be distilled to two key obstacles: economics and lack of representation. We can directly address these issues in two concrete ways: by improving access to dance education for lower income students across racial lines, and by increasing representation of dancers of colo...

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