By Elaine Quijano
17 August 2020
New York — After 86 years, New York City’s famed School of American Ballet is making history not on the stage, but in the classroom, when Aesha Ash becomes the school’s first Black female permanent faculty member.
Ash hopes to make a difference for her students.
“I feel that I have this hyper-awareness now of that dancer who’s struggling … and sort of see that sort of self-doubt creeping in,” she explained.
As a teenager, she had those self-doubts in a school with a mostly-White student population.
“When you look at performances, when you look at footage, when you see images on the wall … are everything but your own, that is saying something to the dancers around,” Ash said.
But she persevered, earning a spot with the New York City Ballet — one of only a few dancers of color.
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