Hiplet Ballerinas bring new style to Whitewater


Dane Sheehan

Members of the Hiplet Ballerinas hold a Q&A after their performance in young Auditorium.

Kaylee Pryble, Arts & Rec Editor

UW-Whitewater students and community members were in attendance at the Hiplet Ballerinas performance in Young Auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

The Hiplet Ballerinas are a group of dancers that perform using the hiplet dance style, a combination of hip hop and ballet. The group is soon to start a premiere tour in support of the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center (CMDC) and help fund scholarships for their community.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” said Alyssa Hintz, a student who was in attendance at the event. “It was super energetic and upbeat, I was entertained while I was watching.”

Hiplet is a new dance style, founded by Homer Hans Bryant. Coined “Hiplet” in 2009, the CMDC is the only contemporary ballet school in the world that teaches the dance style. The performances promote inclusiveness among both their performers and their audience through the music, costuming, and dancers themselves.

“It’s fascinating. They’re creating and performing their own dance style,” said Young Auditorium Marketing Specialist Aaron Wesolowski. “We’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The group was brought to campus by the Cultural Performing Arts Council (CPAC), a group of students and community members in Whitewater that help bring acts to Young Auditorium. Members of the CPAC board scouted out the Hiplet Ballerinas at Arts Midwest, a conference that puts on short performances to help venues choose acts to have perform at their sites.

“We saw them at Arts Midwest and knew we had to have them come here,” said CPAC President Samuel Hess. “The Hiplet Ballerinas stood out and would be something unique for the community to see.”

The Young Auditorium hosts between two and three dance events each season. The Hiplet Ballerinas were the first dance event of its kind.

“I haven’t stopped telling people about it,” said CPAC Vice-President Michelle Wood. “It’s such a unique thing and with them going on a national tour, they’re only going up from here.”

The Hiplet Ballerinas will be back in Wisconsin in Milwaukee on March 3, 2020.