Guest unencouragedDANCER0217

Tights for Black dancers

17 posts in this topic

i am an African American dance student and all the teachers and students at my school are caucasion (spelling?) and usually the requiements for tights are either ballet pink or skin toned (tan for them) I can never find tights that are skin toned for me. usually I just wear the pink tights ( that look white on me) and the darkest tan tights I can find ( they still dont look right) other african american dancers I know do the same. Ive tried trying to find out what dancers from Alvin Ailey wear but I havent figured it out yet. By any chance does any one know where I can find tights for black dancers? Any advice would be deeply appreciated

Edited by unencouragedDANCER0217

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Capezio introduced a "cocoa" shade especially for Dance Theater of Harlem. Other makes often recommend "suntan" or other similar color. Both are still lighter than most African skintones, but good. The lighter shade makes muscle identification and definition in the legs easier.

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I'm also a black dancer my teacher just lets us get suntan tights since there aren't that many different colors of tights for darker skintones.I think I'll check out the cocoa tights but then they might be too dark.I wonder if they make custom colored tights? :)

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I know that there used to be several shades that DTH used to use, all lighter than the wearer's actual skin tone, and some just wore pink and let the "undercoat" do the rest of the job. They were trying to present a fairly uniform leg color, darker than pink, but still flesh-warm.

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I think ill checkout the capezio tights.... if that doesnt work out i might have to dye the tights I know my teachers dont mind if I jus deal with the standard colors but im kind of sick of just settling..... but whatever it takes as long as I get to dance right? thank you.

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Just keep on keepin' on! And consider yourself encouraged! :wink:

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there is a picture of a discount dance modeling leotard #N8156 wearing cocoa tights on page 37 of the summer 2005 mag.I am not sure if the same picture is in a newer mag,but it is on the discountdance website.here are the tights you cant see much.Now the only question is how did she get her shoes to match so well in the full body picture??

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The shoes were actually what generated the addition of African-American skin tones to the ballet lines of so many manufacturers. Capezio was the first to respond to the need, and made darker-tinted shoes for DTH, then for the larger market.

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i'm also an AA dancer and i was wondering why it makes such a difference in what color tights you use. I've always used pink tights and that has never been an issue.

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crayonsdeluxe, I’m not sure I can answer your question - but my DD was told it was important to have the leg to foot appear as a “clean-continuous” line (one continuous color from the thigh to the toes). With my DD’s skin tone I have found by dyeing her tights a deeper shade of pink, her leg-color in tights appears close enough to her pointe shoe color to approximate the desired look. :D

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I'm so glad this topic came up because I've always wondered what dark skinned dancers did about these things. It's actually always been my dream to be black. :D So I'm going to marry a black guy so my kids can be coffee coloured. :wub:

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crayonsdeluxe, I’m not sure I can answer your question - but my DD was told it was important to have the leg to foot appear as a “clean-continuous” line (one continuous color from the thigh to the toes). With my DD’s skin tone I have found by dyeing her tights a deeper shade of pink, her leg-color in tights appears close enough to her pointe shoe color to approximate the desired look. :thumbsup:

 

thanks!

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I'm confused... if the only issue is for the leg line to be continuous, why can't darker skinned dancers simply buy tights that match their shoes? What does actual skin color have to do with anything if the "desired look" isn't one that approximates bare legs?:blushing: (Or is it? I have always been told that lighter tights just make it easier for the teacher to see if you are using the right muscles or not.)

 

I myself am half-black and half-white, and I have what people call a "latina" skin tone- a sort of golden brown. My Asian and hispanic dancer friends and I all wear pink tights, and yes they look whiter on us, but we find shoes that match quite easily... In my opinion, all that time spent searching for AA skin-toned tights could be better spent dancing! :)

 

One of my AA- (actually, African-Canadian!), friends just took up ballet and she doesn't like pink, period. So she refuses to wear pink tights. Her skin is the richest, darkest brown you can imagine. We went shopping for dance stuff together and we managed to find two looks that she can live with. She now wears the following to class:

 

1) footed black tights and black slippers (yes, she know's that they're technically for boys) under a black leo

or

2) a colored leo with black footless tights over the leo, and pink socks with pink slippers.

 

Both looks work very well for her.

 

If you're not attending a strict bnallet school and are allowed black tights, I guess this is an option.

 

She is also thinking of wearing dark brown pantyhose (yes the kind you wear with non-dance clothes) over a pair of tan tights, and making sure both the hose and the tights are stirrup style (she'll probably have to do this herself for the pantyhose!) and then slipping the stirrups over the black ballet slippers.

 

I also just thought that maybe another nice look would be a pale pink leo and pale pink tights and slippers- that would make for an even longer line, no?

 

What she is now struggling with is her lovely curly/wiry hair texture, which will simply not form a neat little bun! Or even a neat big bun... we joke that the bun is the same size as her head :shrug: We're working on it! Maybe I can find some answers for her here at ballettalk!

Edited by Striving for Grace

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I'm confused... if the only issue is for the leg line to be continuous, why can't darker skinned dancers simply buy tights that match their shoes?

 

I believe the actual reasoning is so that the entire line not just the leg line is continuous. Therefore from head to toe with as little break as possible in that line. DD, who could also be considered deep golden, recently danced in an ivory dance dress. After she finished, the teacher and I looked at each other and said, "we should have had her wear tan tights and shoes". The line was pretty, but it would have been gorgeous if her legs and arms had more continuity. The difference being that the arms and legs would have looked like they belonged to the same person.

 

For your friend, there are several brands of brown tights out now and almost every ballet shoe maker has tan/brown ballet shoes. Especially if she tries SoDanca and Sansha brands.

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Thanks for your info, Momof3darlings! It was very informative! :whistling:

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