Boston Ballet opens its ‘Winter Experience’ with a diverse company

By Audrey Coleman 

Sydney Williams and Daniel Durrett are members of one of the most diverse ballet companies in the country, but they didn’t grow up with the same representation to look up to. 

“Being the only Black boy in the class, I feel like I was brainwashed into thinking that I didn’t deserve to be there,” Durrett said in an interview with WBZ-TV. “I had to work so much harder into getting a position and that I needed to be happy and accept any position or contract, or anything that was given to me instead of being like, ‘I’ve worked my butt off for this opportunity. I deserve just as much as an opportunity as the rest of these other kids.’”

Williams said that the lack of Black representation in ballet helped inspire her growing up, as she wanted to see herself in change and become the representation that she missed out on.

“Even though I didn’t see myself, I had enough confidence that I would eventually see actually me on stage,” said Williams. “It kind of was a motivator for me to be that for other young dancers.” 

Durrett and Williams hope that kids local to Boston are inspired to pursue ballet as a career when they see a representation of themselves in Boston’s diverse company. 

Boston Ballet’s “Winter Experience” starts Feb. 22 and will remain open until March 3.