Written by Soumia Hammi and Jessica Finol, Blog Team Directors
This year, the Hiplet ballerinas of Chicago will be coming to Miami for a one-time performance on January 14th. But what exactly is Hiplet, and why are we at the Culture Shock Student Council so excited for their performance?
Pictured: Hiplet Ballerinas
The word Hiplet refers to a unique dance style that combines the sassy and modern style of ‘hip-hop’ and other contemporary dance styles with the elegant and classical style of ‘ballet.’ Created by Homer Hans Bryant in the 1990s at the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, this dance style not only appeals to lovers of both traditional ballet and street hip-hop, but it creates a space of inclusivity for dancers of all body types and races. As Homer Hans Bryant stated in an article for the Chicago Tribune, “Hiplet is all about empowerment.”
The Hiplet Ballerinas’ first platform was their videos on Instagram. But once they went viral, their careers took off through performances on Good Morning America and even America’s Got Talent. The innovation and passion of these dancers, both for dance itself and for creating a safe space for all types of dancers in the art world, is why the Culture Shock Student Council is so excited to welcome them to Miami. To show off their skills and to give those unfamiliar with Hiplet an idea of its beauty, the Culture Shock blog team has collected four videos that we believe best represent these dancers and their amazing accomplishments.
Pictured: Hiplet Ballerinas
This film is an excellent way for people interested in Hiplet to learn more about it and the Hiplet ballerinas themselves. It features not only an interview with the dancers but a performance that shows them wearing both street clothes and ballet costumes, emphasizing the fusion of hip-hop and ballet that is Hiplet.
‘Hiplet Ballerinas Combine Hip-hop and Ballet for a STUNNING dance’-America’s Got Talent 2021
This performance is another excellent introduction to the Hiplet style. Starting with traditional ballet moves set to the famous theme from Swan Lake, the dance quickly transitions to an upbeat showcase of the Hiplet style and gives the dancers a chance to show-off their moves.
‘Chicago’s Hiplet Ballerinas Perform’
Another fun and energetic performance on ‘Good Morning America.’ The synchronicity of the dancers is very impressive.
The Hiplet Ballerinas: TEDxSanFrancisco
The choreography for this dance is unique and different, and the dancers get to show off some beautiful formations.
Hiplet Ballerinas of the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center at MoAD's
This performance perfectly embodies the fusion of ballet and hiphop that the Hiplet ballerinas are known for. Combining classical ballet moves with choreography set to an upbeat hiphop track, the dancers make a statement at the Afropolitan Ball. In addition to their choreography, their costumes also represent their fusion of the two genres, combining interesting geometrical tutus and crop tops together with their pointe shoes.
Hiplet Ballerinas Halftime
Performing at a halftime show for a basketball game, the dancers of Hiplet create a unique visual experience. The presence of classical ballet techniques on a basketball court seems a bit out of place at first, but the dancers confidently execute their routine, making the performance an entertaining success.