The Nutcracker's New "Marie" Is Breaking Barriers

Child plays role of Marie and the Nutcracker Prince
Abeni Jones
December 17, 2019

Though inroads have been made in countless sports, ballet is still one of the whitest there is. There are many reasons for this - the exorbitant cost of ballet classes and performances and bias within the ballet world, for example.

These also create a lack of representation, which makes the problem even worse. But one young dancer might be part of a major change.

11-year-old Charlotte Nebres is the latest young dancer to play the starring role of Marie in prestigious New York Ballet Company’s production of holiday classic The Nutcracker. 

She’s the first Black Marie ever. "Wow. That seems a little late,” said her mother when she found this out. We couldn’t agree more. But her breakthrough could have major impacts.

Nebres cites pioneering Black Ballerina Misty Copeland as an inspiration. “I saw her perform and she was just so inspiring and so beautiful,” she told the New York Times.

Now she could be that person for other young dancers. “There might be a little boy or girl in the audience seeing [me] and saying, ‘hey, I can do that, too,’” she said.

Charlotte’s achievement shows the power of representation! We applaud and celebrate her and can’t wait to see how she will inspire future Black dancers.

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