Gaynor Minden, a U.S.-based pointe shoe and accessory brand, announced on Facebook that it would be releasing two new shades of pointe shoes: Cappuccino and Espresso. The shoes are available for special order at no extra charge. Here’s how they look in Espresso:
“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.
The only request is for more companies to do this, because not every dancer wears Gaynor Minden shoes. In the meantime, we’ll consider this one small step for ballerinas, and one giant jeté for ballet history.