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An African-American ballerina has broken a major barrier in the realm of dance. According to KSHB, Whitney Huell made history by becoming the first Black ballerina to take on the lead role in the Kansas City Ballet’s Nutcracker performance.

Huell will star as the sugar plum fairy, the news outlet writes. For the dancer, it’s all about representation. She hopes taking on the role will inspire other dancers to follow in her footsteps. “I think that it will show young dancers of color that they can do anything,” she said in a statement, according to the news outlet.

Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director Devon Carney is excited for Huell to take on the lead role in their production. “I couldn’t imagine a better opportunity than to have the chance to be artistic director and see this come to life, finally, here for Kansas City Ballet. It’s a very important moment for all of us,” he said.

Ballerinas like Huell and Misty Copeland are using their platform and artistry to increase the representation of Black dancers in their field. “I understand why I’m important and mean so much to a lot of people,” said Copeland in an interview with Refinery29. “I have so much pride, and I take on the responsibility willingly. It’s so much bigger than me, and it’s not about me, but what I represent.”


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