MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. — A photographer is promoting diversity in dance through pictures.
What You Need To Know
Bae Hart is highlighting the diversity of dancers through pictures
Hart owns a photography agency that promotes proper representation of children of color in media, marketing and the arts
The one little thing Hart wants children to know is dancers come in all sizes
Bae Hart owns The Bae Hive, a photography agency focused on proper representation of children of color in marketing, media and the arts.
She initially started it in 2014.
“I reached out to companies that I noticed that didn’t have a lot of diversity and inclusion, or if they didn’t, it didn’t look intentional,” Hart said.
Now, companies and organizations are not only reaching out to The Bae Hive for pictures but also to educate them about intentional inclusion and to help boost self-confidence of children.
Dancer Zaeda Jackson was featured in a solo portrait.
“I’m feeling very inspired that I’m looking at myself on a pedestal,” Jackson said.
Recently, Hart did a photoshoot with a diverse group of dancers.
“They all bring something different to the table: whether it’s height, body size, whether it’s hair. Whether it’s confidence, whether it’s self-esteem,” Hart said.
There’s one little thing she wants children to take away from this picture.
“I’m not saying everyone can be a professional dancer, but I’m saying anyone can be a dancer, if that’s what’s in your heart, if that’s what you want to do,” Hart said.
However, she said that’s not always how dancers are portrayed.
“I have a hard time finding plus-size or husky-size leotards or costumes because the aesthetic for a dancer is that they should be slim and trim and a certain height, weight and a body build,” Hart said.
Logen Hunnicutt, who was in the pictures, agrees dance should be open to all, including those who are tall like her.
“I think it’s important because you want everyone to feel included,” Hunnicutt said.
At 8 years old, Kaitlyn McClary feels represented in that photo.
“They look like me,” McClary said. “They look like very beautiful dancers.”
A little thing Hart said adults can do is support children, especially those who think they don’t belong.
“Even if it’s something you don’t understand or you may not have experience, just still find a way to encourage and support and pour love and light into that child,” Hart said.
Hart said adults should be more intentional with their words and actions and avoid phrases including "you are too big to be a dancer."