Uniforms & Dress Codes
BALLET BUN TUTORIAL:
BALLET TIGHTS; PINK OR FLESH TONE?
Ballet has strong roots in Renaissance-age France and Italy. Since the 19th century, pink tights and shoes have been considered a dance-wear standard for ballet dancers of all races and ethnicities. Historically, the intent was to have both the hosiery and shoes disappear, and back then, pink was as tastefully close to nude as they could get. It is safe to say that the sole reason ballet tights and shoes are pink is because at the time the tradition started, all of the dancers were white.
It was not until the early 1970s that this began to change, when the Dance Theater of Harlem, under the direction of Mr. Arthur Mitchell, debuted flesh tone tights and shoes. As racial uniformity decreases, should we not reevaluate the relevance of pink tights and shoes? Could it not be argued that the actual “tradition” is that the tights and shoes should match the dancer’s complexion? Most of the arguments against flesh-tone tights center around the preservation of the classical aesthetic of uniformity. It is necessary that even ballet’s most long-standing traditions be evaluated through the lens of the times in which we currently live.
NEBT is committed to creating a climate of respect that is supportive of all voices, celebrating diverse stories, increasing arts access, and sparking important discussions about our own community and beyond through our art form and artistic programming.
Ultimately, it is up to each dancer to decide pink or flesh tone. We support all of our dancers' decisions to wear tights that make them feel beautiful.