Photography by Bill Cooper & Richard Bolton

Black, graceful and gliding across the stage like a swan swimming along the surface of the water, London’s first black ballet dancers, Ballet Black has mesmerised audiences right across the country for years and are now taking their art and success to the international stage.

Founded by Casso Pancho in 2001 after graduating from London’s Royal Academy of Dance, Pancho was looking for black and minority ballet dancers to disprove the belief that black dancers could not do ballet as their bodies were too heavy.

Now Pancho, whose parents were British and Trinidadian has inspired a new generation of dancers from black and minority ethnic descent, with six classically trained dancers who have defied old racial stereotypes.

Ballet Black has had sold out tickets whereever they have performed in Britain and want to take that success abroad.

According to Reuters (30 March) Pancho said that the group has faced funding hurdles despite being successful and continue to face those hurdles, but nevertheless success has followed them with each performance.

Pancho has broken down barriers and provided young dancers from black and minority ethnic descent the platform from which to follow not racial stereotypes but their dreams.

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