Most pointe shoes come in three shades of pink satin — pink, lighter pink, and white — to match the pink ballet tights that are mandatory in most productions. But if a dancer has darker-than-pink skin, they may opt to change the color of their shoes and tights to create a more flattering line on the leg and foot. These new shades of satin are meant to be a base for customization, but they "also work for many dancers just as they are," according to the press release.
"It is frustrating to find pointe shoes or ballet slippers that match my skin tone because there just aren't any that completely match my skin tone," says Tamisha Guy
, dancer and rehearsal director at Abraham In Motion
, and a Princess Grace Award recipient. "I usually search for ballet slippers that may come close to my skin tone and add additional foundation for a perfect match, which is quite a process and can take up to an hour to make it look like they came that way."
Gaynor Minden is known for pointe shoe innovations, but has a controversial reputation
with ballet dancers, because its shoes are made of elastomeric plastic, not the traditional paper and glue. The argument with ballet purists is that it's "cheating" to dance in the shoes, because their muscles don't have to work as hard to relevé
onto their toes. That being said, tons of professionals at top companies
(from Gillian Murphy
in American Ballet Theater to the prima ballerinas in the all-male ballet company, The Trocks
) wear and love their pieces.