MEET THE DANCE INSTRUCTOR BRINGING “HIPLET” TO THE WORLD

Jul 8, 2016 | Briahnna Brown, Chevy DTU, Chicago Defender, McKenzie Marshall, NNPA | 0 comments

cd-logo-masthead-500
Brianna Brown, McKenzie Marshall

Earlier this year, a video of Black ballerinas dancing to hip-hop on pointe went viral. Those girls study “Hiplet” under instructor Homer Bryant at The Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center. Even though Bryant and the dancers have just recently gained national attention, Bryant has been instructing dancers of all ethnicities at the school for decades.

chicago_ballet_large“Everybody’s talking about the school and all of a sudden we’re an overnight success,” Bryant said. “But that took 26 years—26 years of hard work, focus, discipline and determination because as an African-American man with classical ballet training school, people would say, ‘you’re not going to make it.’”

Bryant proved the naysayers wrong. Since going viral, Bryant and his dancers have been on Good Morning America and are now preparing to go to Germany for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. But even with the outpour of support that these dancers have been getting, there are still critics that feel that “Hiplet” is wrong.

“No one has ever seen African Americans do what they’re doing on pointe,” Bryant said. “Classical ballet is this ethereal thing; it’s this high art form and you’re not supposed to do anything to it. The girls are on pointe doing African [dance] and hip-hop, or Hiplet, my trademark, and it’s upsetting a lot of people. But that’s good.

“They see ballet as that tunnel vision and they don’t have the peripheral that opens up and says, ‘Wow, this is new, this is different, this is amazing, this is entertaining, this is staying relevant. This is pulling kids off the street. This is staying with what’s happening now.’” 

Check out the full video interview with Homer Bryant below:

Briahnna Brown

Briahnna Brown

Fellow, Chicago Defender

Briahnna Brown is a recent graduate from the School of Communications at Howard University. Briahnna was born and raised in Baltimore, Md., and many of her stories have focused on issues that affect her hometown. Briahnna’s articles have appeared in the Howard University News Service and the NNPA News Wire. Last year, Briahnna was selected to be an American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) intern and she worked at the Smithsonian Magazine in Washington, D.C. Briahnna has also interned at Howard Magazine, the university’s alumni publication.

McKenzie Marshall

McKenzie Marshall

Fellow, Chicago Defender

McKenzie T. Marshall is a senior journalism major with a concentration in broadcasting at Howard University. McKenzie is a contributing writer for “The Hilltop,” and a member of Howard’s chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. She also interned at the Washington, D.C., bureau of the BBC in the spring of 2016. McKenzie’s ultimate career goal is to be an on-air news reporter. One day, she wants to host her own television show focusing on politics and foreign news.

MEET THE DANCE INSTRUCTOR BRINGING “HIPLET” TO THE WORLD

Earlier this year, a video of Black ballerinas dancing to hip-hop on pointe went viral. Those girls study “Hiplet” under instructor Homer Bryant at The Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center. Even though Bryant and the dancers have just recently gained national attention, Bryant has been instructing dancers of all ethnicities at the school for decades.

READ MORE

TAKE A “STAY CATION” AT THE FIRST ZIPLINE COURSE IN ILLINOIS

Summer has officially begun and now many families are trying to decide where they can take their family for a vacation while also staying on a budget.

READ MORE

HOT MIX 5’S 35TH ANNIVERSARY

Farley Williams who is the event coordinator for this event, and has been given the title as the King of House Music, says this festival is not only about the Hot Mix 5’s reunion but a celebration of life. “We are doing this to celebrate each other, there are so many tragedies in life, we just lost Muhammad Ali and before him was Prince, we must remember to live each day to the fullest and that is what this celebration is about”

READ MORE

DESHAUNA BARBER IS #BlackGirlMagic

Deshauna Barber served in the military as Logistics Commander for the 988th Quarter- master Detachment Unit at Fort Meade, Md. She has now broke the barrier of being the only woman in Miss USA beauty pageant history to win the title while also being in the military. She joined the groundbreaking eight other black women who have won the title of Miss USA since the pageant’s start in 1952.

READ MORE

DIVERSITY WITH AMBASSADOR THEODORE R. BRITTON

The importance of increasing diversity in America is stronger than ever. Ambassador Theodore R. Britton was among the first to African Americans to integrate the US Marine Corps. During his enlistment he served in World War II and the Korean War.

READ MORE

ACTORS OF COLOR MAKE TONY AWARDS HISTORY

In stark contrast to #OscarsSoWhite—the hashtag that criticized the Academy Awards’ lack of diversity in nominees—actors of color made history at the 70th Annual Tony Awards last night by taking home all four of the musical acting awards.

READ MORE

BLACK-OWNED TECH START-UP AIMS TO FIX #AirbnbWhileBlack

Discrimination against Black Airbnb users has been brought to light recently with people taking to social media with the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack to tell personal stories where they were denied a room with Airbnb, the online platform where people can list and rent places to stay. As the stories generally go: a white host declined a black user’s request but accepts a (real or fake) white user’s request for the same dates.

READ MORE