Kayla Rowser: Breaking barriers

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Kayla Rowser Ballet dancer Kayla Rowser talks about embracing all types of diversity in ballet.

For centuries, dancers of European decent have dominated the world of ballet, but African-American dancer, Kayla Rowser, of Nashville Ballet, represents the changing face of today’s modern ballerina.

“It is not as common to see an African American ballet dancer, but we do exist,” Rowser said.

Kayla Rowser: Breaking barriers

Kayla Rowser: Breaking barriers

Ballet dancer Kayla Rowser talks about embracing all types of diversity in ballet

Breaking racial barriers by dancing lead roles in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Firebird and Swan Lake, she’s also been featured as one of Dance Magazine’s Top 25 to Watch, an honor given only to the most influential in the ballet world.

She’s outspoken about the importance of embracing all types of diversity in ballet, and hopes to inspire the next generation of aspiring dancers to achieve their dreams regardless of race, color or body type.

“In my teaching, I also teach a lot of students from all different types of diverse backgrounds,” Rowser said. “It is really lovely to be able to see that change in the dance studio setting because if it is not happening on a student level, it clearly won’t happen on a professional level.”

From Nashville, Tennessee, Kayla Rowser joined May Lee in our Los Angeles studio.