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Tiny ballerinas celebrate Black History Month with ‘fierce’ photo shoot

iRule Dance Studio, a dance studio and performing arts school in Beaumont, Texas, posted the now-viral photo on its Facebook page Feb. 10.  The image shows 10 young dancers in their tights and leotards, posing in a variety of stances, with bold facial expressions.
iRule Dance Studio, a dance studio and performing arts school in Beaumont, Texas, posted the now-viral photo on its Facebook page Feb. 10. The image shows 10 young dancers in their tights and leotards, posing in a variety of stances, with bold facial expressions.

Credit: Bee Photography

Credit: Bee Photography

The photo shoot of the Texas dancers has gone viral

In one photo, a group of tiny Texas ballerinas has been heralded as the embodiment of fierce and an inspiring tribute to Black History Month.

iRule Dance Studio, a dance studio and performing arts school in Beaumont, Texas, posted the now-viral photo on its Facebook page Feb. 10.  The image shows 10 young dancers in their tights and leotards, posing in a variety of stances, with bold facial expressions.

» MORE: Full coverage of Black History Month

The photo is captioned:

"STRONG... FIERCE... DETERMINED!

So proud of our beautiful Company Members and the wonderful photographer, Brandie Perry, that put this amazing picture together. #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackGirlMagic #Diversityandinclusion."

Below the caption, the Facebook post includes a quote from one of the legends of American ballet, Misty Copeland, who was the first black woman to be promoted to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre.

“I wouldn’t be here without all the black women around me. Put us together and we can do anything,” reads the quote from Copeland.

Originally, the photo shoot, done by Bee Photography, was just a fun way to highlight iRule’s dancers, but as the photograph has reached thousands across the country, it has made a more meaningful impact.

Angela Malonson, whose daughter Falon, 7, has attended the school for four years, told ABC News that the photo shoot honors the hard work the dancers put in and Copeland, one of their few African American role models.

“We just don’t see a lot of people that look like her ... people of color, brown people that take ballet,” Malonson said. “Misty Copeland came along and paved the way. There weren’t very many people for little girls of color to look up to.”

Bee Photography captured some powerful images of dancers at iRule Dance Studio in Beaumont, Texas.
Bee Photography captured some powerful images of dancers at iRule Dance Studio in Beaumont, Texas.

Credit: Brandie Perry

Credit: Brandie Perry

CharLee Hanna-Rule, iRule’s founder and owner, told ABC seeing the appreciation of the photos has affirmed her work to include dancers from all backgrounds at her studio.

“I’m a big believer that, no matter who you are, if you want to dance in my studio, it’s a place for you,” Hanna-Rule, said. “It doesn’t matter your size or color or anything.”

Friends, family and strangers have helped the photo reach more than 14,000 shares, and hundreds have responded using the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic.

With all the excitement, the dancers have remained humble and likely don’t understand the photo’s significance, Malonson said in an interview with “Good Morning America.”

“Maybe once they’re older and can reflect back on the moment, they will see all of the positivity … it’s a wonderful feeling,” she said.