Forum: Ballet / Pointe - General

Should I pancake my pointe shoes?
By BalletSwan
On Thu Jun 25, 2015 08:45 PM

As some of you may know, I am due to play the lead part in Firebird the ballet. However, even though my costume is beautiful, my dance teacher don't seem to agree on my tights and shoes.

One says I should wear traditional pink tights and pink shoes because it's a traditional piece. The other says I should wear brown tights and brown shoes for my lines. My grandmother was African-American on my father's side and her genes run strong in me. My mother is (somehow) mixed as well.

That's one of the reasons we moved here from Russia. To escape the prejudice about ethnic dancers that you must know is still very prevalent in ballet.

Enough about that, should I pancake my shoes and wear brown tights? Pink shoes and tights were made for Caucasian dancers and I am most obviously not Caucasian. Some comment that what is considered tradition makes me look awkward, others day the brown is somehow weird looking.

My teachers are allowing e to choose so I'm asking you guys. Brown or pink and why?

5 Replies to Should I pancake my pointe shoes?

re: Should I pancake my pointe shoes?
By vivien_o
On Thu Jun 25, 2015 09:14 PM
I'd say pancake your shoes! If you look at Precious Adams' Aurora variation from Prix de Lausanne, she pancaked her pointe shoes. Personally, I think it looks better than to wear the traditional ballet pink tights and pink pointe shoes.
re: Should I pancake my pointe shoes?
By Gracie220
On Fri Jun 26, 2015 09:26 AM
I agree with Vivien. Go with what looks best with your skin tone and makes your lines look best. Pink tights and pink shoes don't always look the best on everyone (including us caucasians sometimes lol). Misty Copeland is another great example of performing in tan shoes and looking amazing. Pancake them. Or, depending on what brand you wear, you might be able to order your shoes in a color closer to your skin tone with no extra charge (I know grishkoshop.com has that).
re: Should I pancake my pointe shoes?
By hummingbird
On Fri Jun 26, 2015 02:33 PM
The idea behind panning your shoes is so that they're matt, same as your ballet tights are. A shiny pointe shoe on the end of a matt leg can shorten the lines, I've always been a fan of panned pointe shoes for this reason.
re: Should I pancake my pointe shoes?
By BalletSwan
On Fri Jun 26, 2015 04:25 PM
Thanks for the opinions. I appreciate them. If you were wondering, I generally use "Revlon Colorstay Toast 370" on my pointes which should give you a good generalization of my skin tone. I'd still like some more opinions.
re: Should I pancake my pointe shoes? (karma: 1)
By hummingbird
On Fri Jun 26, 2015 05:10 PM
You want it to be as close a colour as your leg whilst inside your tights

If you look at these pictures you'll see the panning on the shoes is being matched to the dancers leg tone, if there are tights the shoes are being matched to the tone through the tights, if there are no tights then the tone is matched to the skin.

This one is with ballet pink tights

nypost.com . . .

I'm fairly sure this one is tan tights as her muscles are matte, there's no shine to them

www.chicagotribune.com . . .

This one shows Ashley Murphy, Misty Copeland and Ebony Williams, none of them is wearing tights and you can see that they've all matched the pan to their skin tone which helps show of the wonderful lines they all have.

pointemagazine.com . . .

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