The ballerina you need to know about
There’s an old saying that “Ballet is like dreaming on your feet.” The art form is elegant and beautiful, but in Kii Michelle Haynes’ case, the artist can come from the grittiest of environments. “Even though I grew up in such a rich, cultured, beautiful part of New York, Harlem, it was also one on the toughest areas if you wasn’t careful,” She says. Haynes’ parents put her on game at an early age and she avoided the trappings of the streets through her gift of dance. As she continues to progress as a dancer and a young woman, her mission now is to help the next generation of ballerinas do the same.
“My mom promised me if I did ballet I could do gymnastics.”
The lifestyle that has led her to various high profile events and brought her joy and satisfaction all began with a single flier and one considerate family member. “When I was the age of 6 my uncle Larry walked passed a newly opened dance school for children in the heart of Harlem on 125th street and 5th avenue and was passed a flier walking by,” She says. “He then gave that to my mom and my mom promised me if I did ballet I could do gymnastics.” Haynes, who was admittedly a hyper child, considered that a no brainer.
“A great accomplishment I have is currently teaching my talents to the youth”
After initially starting with dance school, Haynes earned a spot in “The uptown dance theatre” at the tender age of seven years old. Since those days, her feats include dancing for Moncler Grenoble for fashion week New York as well as dancing for the Mayor and congressman multiple times. Most of all though, she cherishes being able to give back. “A great accomplishment I have is currently teaching my talents to the youth in the Bronx and Manhattan for free at WBO recreation center and Uptown dance academy,” She says.
“My reward is feeling that rush through my body when I dance.”
Haynes’ future plans include everything from fashion to jewelry to apps as she plans to transition into a full time entrepreneur. As a dancer, she still faces challenges such as fighting to better herself, but the exhilaration of performing makes it all worth it. “My reward is feeling that rush through my body when I dance and perform and to show the message of dance to others.” And those others will have an uncle, a flier and certain Harlemite to thank for their inspiration.