Black Ballerinas Bring Hiplet to Paris Fashion Week

Yes, black girls do ballet. And black girls also do a fusion of hip-hop and ballet, called Hiplet.

Created and trademarked by Homer Bryant, founder and artistic director of the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center (CMDC), Hiplet is so lit it recently opened the Spring 2018 show for luxury outerwear designer, Moncler, during Paris Fashion Week.

Bryant is a former principal with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and his CMDC dancers are all classically trained, however, he has infused their plies and pirouettes with the rhythms and sassiness of street dancing.

“Some people get mad when they see us doing hiplet. It’s not traditional classical ballet….it’s Hiplet,” Homer says in a YouTube video about the dance style. “It’s how we empower our kids. It’s how we empower the world. Hiplet is so freeing and so open. There’s a different culture here.”

Signature hiplet moves include: the hiplet strut, the twist in and out, the moonwalk [en pointe], the Vivian and the zippy.

“I grew up thinking I couldn’t do ballet because of the color of my skin,” one of the brown and beautiful Hiplet dancers says in the YouTube video, Hip-Hop En Pointe: The Rhythm and Beat of Hiplet. “At my old studio, because I was African-American I was often overlooked.”

The young dancer adds, “This is the dance genre that does not discriminate. If you have rhythm and you can grove en pointe, you got it.”

 

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