Mashable’s “Brown ballerinas: Ballet’s big diversity moment is approaching” gives this inside look at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, as well as the personal experiences of Jenelle Figgins and Chyrstyn Fentroy as dancers of color and/or mixed backgrounds.

Along with companies like the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, the Dance Theatre of Harlem is a well-known entity in the ballet world, founded in 1969 “shortly after the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” the site declares. Its mission statement is clear: “To present a ballet company of African-American and other racially diverse artists who perform the most demanding repertory at the highest level of quality.”

“Right from the beginning, this company started making people think different about ballet,” says [Artistic Director] Virginia Johnson.

Watch these next: The Washington Ballet’s hardest dance moves and an informal performance by ballet dancer Amanda Smith.

See more videos about...