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The School of American Ballet

Grateful to have been featured on The School of American Ballet social media pages.

"Dance opened doors for me that I did not know existed..."

Past SAB National Visiting Fellow, Lanette Costas is committed to increasing diversity in classical ballet and is making it happen. She knows firsthand that dance can shape a life and is now paying it forward.

"I am the Academy Program Director at InSpira Performing Arts and Cultural Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey where more than 97% of the students are African American. The focus of the Academy Program is to help students develop technically gaining invaluable lessons of professionalism while fostering a greater appreciation of dance. If a student dreams of having a career dancing with a professional ballet company, my job is to help make that dream possible. Even with limited ballet classes, I am proud that many of my students have received scholarships, and have been accepted to some of the best Ballet Summer Intensive programs in the country, including the School of American Ballet.

Ballet has not always been welcoming to dancers of color. We have been fighting to be seen and to be heard, both in classes and on the stage. I stand on the shoulders of so many pioneers that have paved the way. This fight continues because these artists are smart, beautiful, “young, gifted, and Black.” The time has come to stop ignoring Black ballerinas. We are resilient and we will not stop until real change is made."

Learn more about Lanette's work on Instagram @Lanettecostas

Photos - Lanette teaching at SAB in 2018, taken by Rosalie O'Connor, and Lanette backstage with her students, courtesy Lanette Costas

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