A group of young black ballerinas recently did a photoshoot to remind everyone how far black women and girls have come. The little girls who learn ballet at iRule Dance Studio in Beaumont, Texas, are usually busy with their dance schedules. However, they decided to take a break and staged a photoshoot inspired by Misty Copeland, the famous black ballerina.
The little girls posed for a series of powerful images. The shoot was photographed by Brandie Perry of Bee Photography.
Although the photoshoot was done for the young girls to bond, it turned out to be something more symbolic. Since black women are not common in ballet, the photoshoot has become a force of empowerment.
The idea for the shoot was first proposed by the girls’ families who wanted to show off their kids’ abilities.
Photographer Perry, who also has a daughter at the studio, said that the girls are very dedicated. A few parents too commented on the girls’ and their tight schedules and how they found time to make the photoshoot happen.
The young ballerinas gathered at downtown Beaumont in black leotards, pink tights, and a matching ballet slipper Though they were all wearing the same outfit, their personalities have shone through. “Even if it’s a group of girls, I love each of them to have their own little thing. You can tell the personality in each one of these girls.” Said Perry. She also revealed that she wanted a fierce facial expression and their softness in the picture. Some of the pictures include the girls striking powerful poses while others feature them laughing around.
Ultimately the shoot turned out to be so powerful since it reminded people of the space black women have built for themselves in fields that they were traditionally barred from. ‘Misty Copeland came along and paved the way.
There weren’t very many people for little girls of colour to look up to.” Perry said. When CharLee Hanna-Rule, the founder and owner of iRule, saw the pictures, she was deeply moved and said that she was very proud of the girls, “I’m a big believer that, no matter who you are, if you want to dance in my studio, it’s a place for you. It doesn’t matter your size or colour or anything,” she added.