In honor of Black History Month, the latest from HuffPost explores the unique set of challenges that face dancers of color.
AGMA ballet dancers Miranda Silveira, member of San Francisco Ballet, and Olivia Boisson, of the New York City Ballet, are interviewed in the article. They share why diversity and representation in the Industry matters to not only those currently dancing professionally, but the young people dreaming of being on stage one day.
“Feeling represented in what you do for a living is crucial,” Silveira told HuffPost.
Silveira grew up in Barcelona, Spain. She moved to Madrid at 14 to pursue ballet at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza Mariemma. At just 16, she was offered a full scholarship from the San Francisco Ballet School. Silveira became an apprentice with San Francisco Ballet in 2013 and joined the corps in 2014. Since then, she's built an impressive repertory, with featured roles in Tomasson's Nutcracker (Spanish and French), The Sleeping Beauty (Pas de Six/Gold Fairy), and Swan Lake.
“More representation helps other young girls to see themselves in that role as well,” echoed Boisson in the article.
According to her biography, Boisson was born in Queens, New York, and began training when she was six years old at The Ballet Arts School of Forest Hills. She studied at the Dance Theatre of Harlem in 2000 before enrolling at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, during the fall of 2004. In August 2012, Ms. Boisson became an apprentice with NYCB, and the following December, she joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet, becoming the first black person to join the company in a decade.
“How Ballerinas of Color are Changing the Palette of Dance” was written by Rohina Katoch Sehra during Black History Month. The article takes a deep dive into the aristocratic origin story of ballet; the moment in 1968 when Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) threw out a 300-year-old rule by supplying dancers with true-to-tone tights and pointe shoes, opposed to the standard pink hue; and includes insight from Dance scholar Brenda Dixon Gottschild and takes a close look at current events in the ballet world.