|Photo by Cindy Barrymore|
Homer Hans Bryant is a former principal dancer with the world renowned Dance Theater of Harlem. His professional credits span from a command performance for the Royal Families of Norway and England to Timbuktu, with the Legendary Eartha Kitt and the motion picture The Wiz with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. Homer was a former member of Prima Ballerina Maria Tallchief's Chicago City Ballet. His teaching and training experience include working with Canada's mesmerizing Cirque Du Soleil productions of Mystere, Alegria, Quidam and Saltimbanco; many of Mr. Bryant's former students are in various Cirque Productions around the world.
In the summer of 1998, he was the lead artist for the first downtown dance site for the City of Chicago's Gallery 37 program; currently named After Schools Matters. Mr. Bryant's approach to teaching and changing lives has attracted many high profile students; President and First Lady Obama's children, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Linda Johnson Rice. His core mission is to bring dance training to all of Chicago. In addition to all of this, Mr. Bryant is also Assistant Artistic Director for Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, located in Evanston, Illinois.
Although he has received various offers to teach from all over the world, he prefers to remain here and share his talents with the youth of Chicago. In 1990 he founded the Bryant Ballet on the city's North side. In October of 1997, the Mayor issued a proclamation, officially changing the growing organization's name to the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center. The purpose of the change was to reflect the diversity for the school's students, class offerings and the diversity of Chicago.
Homer's inspiring ABC Rap Ballet was featured in Encyclopedia Britannica's 1997 Health and Medical Annual edition; entitled "Creativity with a Capital C". The Rap Ballet is a motivational piece that uses hip-hop music and rhythms to teach ballet in a format that young people can understand. The emphasis is not placed purely on ballet, but on the premise that anyone can be whatever they wish to be if they remain focused, disciplined, and most of all, study, study, and more study.
Known as a strict disciplinarian, his slogan "The Fun is in the Discipline, The Discipline is in the Fun" has become a mantra for his current and former students and their parents and has established Mr. Bryant as one of the most respected teachers in the country.
Recognized nationally for his significant achievements in the field of Dance School Services, Homer has received many awards acknowledging his expertise and showing his love for dance.
Homer was selected for the 2006-2007 Who's Who in Dance by The Heritage Registry of Who's Who; Homer has been the recipient of the Monarch Awards Foundation of Xi Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. 1998; Katherine Dunham Award 1999; and Lifetime Achievement Award of Cultural Expressions Productions 2007.
Homer Bryant and his dance school were the feature article of the February 2008 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine; cover story "The House That Homer Built".
In 2009, Mr. Bryant received the "Helen Coburn Meir & Tim Meier Achievement Award; was featured in the short documentary "Raising the Barre: The Homer Bryant Story"; received The Arts Legend Award, Arts Alliance Illinois; named Chicagoan of the Year by art critic Sid Smith of the Chicago Tribune. Last year in 2010, he was inducted as a member of "The History Makers"; created and performed a special Exercise Rap for the Dr. Oz Health Fair; his Bryant Ballet Performing Ensemble won "Dance Slam Chicago 2010" and this year Mr. Bryant was one of Chicago Defender's "Men of Excellence 2011".
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