The word ballerina more often than not brings to mind the image of a white woman. Black women are rarely thought of as ballerinas — African dancers or hip-hop maybe, but ballerina not quite. However, black ballerinas do exist and are changing the face of dance daily.  A number of black ballerinas have made it possible for black dancers to gain principal roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and more classical ballets that have commonly only featured caucasian ballerinas.

Check out some of the black ballerinas that have helped pave the way for black dancers.

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