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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Tinting white flats


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Just when I thought I had a good grip on most things, we have been asked for flesh coloured ballet flats. Turns out that we cannot buy them in size 12!! At least not in our time frame. So we are told 'just colour them!' This leads me to my question. How? I cant bear the idea of wrecking these shoes. I am told we can soak them in tea. We could also use foundation to colour them. This all seems abit random, as DS says. Can anyone give me some more detailed advice. DS has fairly pale blonde colouring but not extremely so. Teacher wants the shoes to roughly blend into his skin. Lovely.

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His stage make up/foundation should suffice. Have him apply it with a make up sponge and let it dry. It will not hurt the shoe, but he must break them in after they have been colored. Sew the elastic on first but do not pull the draw strings until later. He will have to do the little white bit of the draw string after the pull separately. It is very easy and a skill he will have to learn if he stays in the ballet business.


You may also find shoe spray paint at a good shoemaker. It comes in all colors. Stuff the shoes with newspaper and spray away. Again, very easy! Make sure the shoes are sprayed outside in a ventilated area. Put newspaper down on the ground first to protect the underneath surface. Remember to spray both sides. Do not worry about the material of the shoes. The paint will make them a bit stiff. It is easily worked out when you son breaks in his shoes. Make sure he wears surgical glows to use this paint. It has a tendency to get everywhere.

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I too have a fair skinned son. We have accomplished coloring white shoes with foundation. Not the super liquid stuff, the foundation that comes in the compact. The only issue we had was the color does come out a bit different on a white shoe versus applying it to your skin. We tested a few different shades on the inside of the shoe to figure out which was the right match. Tea dying works as well, however, we have found it can shrink the shoes a bit and the color can come out a little uneven. Also, the drawstring casing is sometimes made of a different material than the shoe so it will not color the same with dye or tea.

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Thyme--We've tinted with foundation before with pretty good success. Dyeing any color can be a trick as theyalldance states because the drawstrings can be a different color and the stitching can look different, also. Usually it's darker. Depending on the distance between the audience and the stage it may or may not be noticeable. Professional lighting can affect the appearance. We had a professional tell us she actually liked her shoes a shade darker than her skin color when she was under lighting.


My eldest has also followed his former teacher's directions and used liquid shoe polish for a grey color.We mixed white and black until we matched the tights. I don't know if you can mix a tan/brown & pink & white to come up with the necessary shade. I was extremely skeptical about the method, but it did, indeed work.


Fuzi does sell a canvas shoe in "tan." My dancers are fair and they have used them. I have one with very large feet. They do sell your son's size. You want to avoid the leather flesh color shoes because they are actually pink.


I know exactly what you mean about "wrecking" the shoes. It did seem overwhelming the first few times we had to color shoes on our own. It does come with the territory, though. I've been so grateful when we've had access to company costumers for help.

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Ok! thanks everyone :clapping: We have dyed the shoes and they look great. Basically used 3 tea bags (Orange Pekoe) steeped in a pot of boiling water. Shoes soaked with a weight on them (they kept floating to the surface) for about 20 minutes. Put them in cold salt water to set the colour and they are drying now. Nice light tan colour- just like at the shops. Easy peasy :cool2:

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Way to go!! Glad you had success! We will file the tea soak method away for future use. There is always something new to learn as a dancer and as a ballet parent.

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Small detail- be careful putting the shoes in very hot tea!!! They shrink a bit :devil:. Also now that the shoes have dried, the colour is too light so we are doing it again. In cooler tea. :ermm:

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