After a petition to produce ballet pointe shoes in darker shades for black-African American dancers went viral, Bloch announced Tuesday that they will be adding darker shades of pointe shoes.
What We Know:
- The petition was started on change.org by the dance community. They addressed the fact that dancers are told to get shoes that match their skin tone, but darker tones are not available. The petition received nearly 320,000 signatures.
- Black dancers had to use makeup or paint to match their pointe shoes to their skin tone before any performances or practices because without the color matching the skin tone you can not get the full shape and lines the body is showing.
- Bloch Ballet Brand has been leading dance since 1932 and only carries pink flesh satin pointe shoes, but as of Tuesday Bloch stated:
“To our dancers,Thank you for engaging in conversation with us. We have been intently listening, reflecting on what we are doing and what we can do better and acknowledge we have not been moving fast enough.
Over the years we have introduced darker shades into our leotards, half sole’s, ballet flats, foot thongs, tights and face masks and had planned to continue expanding our range both in terms of color options as well as into other product areas including Pointe shoes, and have been working with the help of some amazing dancers from our Bloch community to develop this product.”
- In 2017, Gaynor Minden was the first pointe shoe brand to offer shoes in a diverse color range, saving black and diverse dancers time and money spent pancaking their shoes. Pancaking is when dancers use a thick base of makeup to cover the pink color to match their skin on their shoes.
- Bloch received a lot of comments on Instagram for the need for darker shades, which led to their post saying “We’re listening”.
- Due to the coronavirus, pointe shoes and Blochsox range will be available in Fall this year, with further product announcements to follow.
The dance community has dealt with their fair share of racial inequality, but this is a victory and the first step for change.