Ballet has suffered from a diversity problem since its conception in the 15th and 16th centuries, and for a long time, there has only been a small range of 'nude' colours of leotards and ballet shoes to suit primarily white performers. However, the good news is that designers are finally getting on board with diverse dance apparel. One dance apparel company has made a series of 'nude' leotard colours to suit dancers of all different skin colours.
Designer Whitney Bracey, who has mainly dealt with swimwear in the past, has created a line of dance apparel aimed at dancers of colour, which she's named Mahogany Blues.
"We are here to remind dancers of colour of their value in an industry that has been colour blind for too long," is the company's mantra.
Mahogany Blues sells leotards in four different shades of nude: Amina, Mulan, Jasmine and Tiana. But they aren't stopping there! They will be releasing two more colours by the end of the year.
The demand for these colours has been a long time coming, following the trend of dyeing shoes and leotards to better suit people's colour. Ballet dancer Eric Underwood has previously spoken about this to BBC, appealing to dance companies to make different colours of shoes.
"I have to 'pancake' my shoes with makeup before I can go on stage," Underwood said. "It's a messy process that can take as long as half an hour at a time, and I need to repeat it regularly because the colour rubs off during performances."
Since then, dance apparel company Bloch has expanded its range of shoe colours.
Hopefully Bracey's bold move will inspire other companies to expand their ranges. As Bracey told BuzzFeed, "It's so important for little girls and boys to see themselves represented in all career fields."