A review of the biography of Joan Myers Brown:
Brown showed exceptional facility at every ballet level. But she was barred from professional ballet training in white-only classes. She was so good, however, that the Littlefield Ballet Company, the most prestigious local ballet conservatory operating in the Philadelphia area at that time, gave her private lessons (and white dancers gave her day-to-day class updates).
She eventually was invited for elite lessons from British choreographic master Antony Tudor, who was in the United States working with the American Ballet Theatre and was also teaching in the Philadelphia area. Tudor, along with George Balanchine, was the architect of contemporary classicism of this era.
In the early 1950s, Tudor cast Brown in a Ballet Guild production of Les Sylphides, along with another black dancer, in an otherwise all-white ballet company. In a review of the performance, the young dancers were subjected to a racial slur.