The brands are committed to presenting darker shades of clothing as the dancers apply for more leather clothing

The brands are committed to presenting darker shades of clothing as the dancers apply for more leather clothing

Written by Alaa Elassar, CNN

Dancewear companies around the world are committed to presenting different shades of skin color, as dancers have called for greater coherence.

The members of the dance community started a report at Change.org urging dance companies to offer a wider range of clothing and footwear options for color dancers. The report, which called the Capezio dance brand, garnered nearly 320,000 signatures.
Less than a week after the report began, Capezio CEO Michael Terlizzi issued a statement thanking the “hundreds of thousands of people around the world” who signed it. Capezio is an autonomous “leading specialty dance retailer”.

“We’ve heard the message from our local dance community that they want pointe shoes that reflect the color of their skin and will now offer the two most popular pointe shoe styles available in a global product, in the fall of 2020 in darker shades.” Terlitzi said.

Australian dance company Bloch has also promised to include a wider range of darker shades next season.

“Thank you for participating in the conversation with us. We listened carefully, thinking about what we are doing and what we can do better and acknowledging that we are not moving fast enough,” Bloch told statement.

“We are fully committed to following these plans and confirming that we will present darker shades to Pointe shoes and the Blochsox line this fall, with further announcements of products to follow. We will also address our color names and make changes as as soon as possible. “

Required diversity in dance

In various forms of dance, including ballet, dancers work to achieve perfect uniformity that depends on leather tights and pointe shoes to give the illusion that their feet – including ankle and foot – are all one part.

Black dancers who can’t find shoes darker than the traditional “European pink” color, make their shoes match their skin tones.

Briana Bell, an 18-year-old dancer at the University of Alabama, knows first hand the difficulties that come with being a black dancer in a world that doesn’t often see people of color.

Bell spends hours using a tube after tube to paint her shoes to match her skin tone.

“This issue is so important because as black women, we are already quite distinguished in our normal daily lives, and we should not face these issues in dance either – especially when the tools to correct the issue are immediately available and are here. and decades, “Bell told CNN.

“Everyone is very used to ignoring and excluding us, and we are used to the fact that the issue has been delayed for a long time without any action. Everything we go through to be considered equal is completely ridiculous.”

Bell uses the foundation to paint her shoes to match the color of her skin. Credit: Courtesy of Karen Bell

Bell, who has been dancing since she was 3, published on Twitter urging people to sign the Change.org report. Gathered more than 350,000 likes and 160,000 retweets.

While offering darker shades to shoes, tights and bodysuits is a first step, there are other issues Bell would like to see dance address. For example, while ballet and modern dance are a prerequisite for students studying dance, African dance is not one of them.

Another issue is natural hair. Bell said many black dancers “are forced to straighten their hair and do their best to match the standards set by white dance directors.”

“Seeing that Capezio and Bloch decided to comply with our wishes made me very happy,” he added. “Knowing that I helped in any way to make it easier for black dancers around the world and I did it so that little black girls don’t have to fry their shoes in the future brings joy to my heart.”

Bell said the fight for representation and equality is not over and he intends to continue supporting color dancers.

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