When North Carolina A&T graduate La'Tisha Price started the EducateDancer studio in 2015, she probably didn't expect to go "viral" in any capacity. Lo and behold, the seasoned dancer and local high school teacher did just that when a group photo with her adorable students was reposted by countless Instagram accounts.
Giving our little girls everything they need and more..... #NaturalHairGang #Squad #ballet #greensborodance #browngirlsdoballet #dance #prettybrowndancers #Educatedancer #TheyAskMeWhoIDoItFor 📸: @jazzyj1012
A photo posted by Tisha Jaye, M.Ed💥 (@tishajaye) on Sep 25, 2016 at 2:07pm PDT
Adorned in matching leotards and bantu knots, it's easy to see why we're all obsessed; these kids are too cute for words!
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ✨👯🎓👸🏾 #EDUCATEDancer
A photo posted by Tisha Jaye, M.Ed💥 (@tishajaye) on Sep 25, 2016 at 6:04pm PDT
I want to say thank you to everyone reposting our pictures!!! I know one day my girls will have to face adversity! But if we invest in them now, I know they will be able to defeat it!!!! Thank you everyone, I really love my dance students! Honestly, truly 😜😘✨👸🏾👯🎓✊🏾#edudancestudio #BlackGirlMagic #naturalhair #greensboro #dancers #mentor #selfesteem #pride #sisterhood #becauseofthemwecan #browngirlsdoballet #realbrowngirls #hbcubuzz #MiniMes
A photo posted by Tisha Jaye, M.Ed💥 (@tishajaye) on Sep 28, 2016 at 7:59am PDT
Calling these candids a visual representation of her emotions, Price credits the unjust killing of Keith Lamont Scott as one source of inspiration for her work with the kids.
"I live in Greensboro, North Carolina and the killing...really blew the candle out for me," she tells ESSENCE. "I have cried and mourned the loss of so many of our African American fathers, brothers, sons, and friends; but this one for me was different. Mr. Scott was the father of a colleague who marched in the band with me and I was torn."
Using this dark moment as a turning point, Price vowed to begin investing in those around her by stressing the importance of education. Since her epiphany, Price has been able to mentor her students in a variety of ways; hair included.
"I know that one day my students are going to grow up and learn/experience the ways of the world and my goal is to prepare them! I want them to be so in love with their skin, body, hair, mind, soul so when adversity decides to face them, they are prepared!"
Although some of the girls were hesitant about taking on the standout look, seeing their instructor and fellow students in a similar fashion subdued that intial shock. As it turns out, a lot of them didn't even know what bantu knots were before their photo shoot.
"The issue is being uneducated about who you truly are and not knowing how to properly embrace your natural self because we have been taught otherwise for so long. Wearing the bantu knots in our picture was...to teach my dancers that who you are is just fine! The way your hair grows out of your head is beautiful and perfect! The curvaceous shape of your bottom in that leotard is amazing!"
We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Black girl magic and mentorship are a match made in heaven.