In the 2016 documentary A Ballerina’s Tale, Misty Copeland, the first African American principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater (ABT), discusses the trials of being a ballerina of color, including how difficult it is to find pointe shoes that match her skin tone. Finally, a company has done something about it. US-based pointe shoe company Gaynor Minden, which has shod the feet of principal ballerinas and dancers from major dance companies around the world, recently released a nude-for-all option for dancers of color.
The company announced via Facebook that their two newest shades of pointe shoes are Cappuccino and Espresso. This is way out of the norm of usual shades of pink satin pointe shoes — pink, lighter pink and white — to match the tights and lighter skin tones of the majority of ballerinas so it appears that they’re dancing barefoot. The problem with that is dancers of darker shades have to alter the color of their pointe shoes to create the same illusion.
Previously, ballerinas of color had to hand paint or dye their own shoes, occasionally documenting the arduous process on social media, as Dance Theatre of Harlem dancer Chrystyn Mariah Fentroy did here. Now with Gaynor Minden’s nude-for-all innovation in ballet fashion, these dancers can focus on their pirouette instead of their pointe shoes.
Huge kudos to this forward-thinking company for recognizing that dancing feet come in many different shades!
Do you have a favorite nude-for-all brand? Let us know @BritandCo!
(h/t Refinery29; featured photo via Getty)