When I was a teenager, Lauren Anderson was my generation’s Misty Copeland. The former Houston Ballet star made history as the company’s first African American principal ballerina in 1990, and her partnership with Carlos Acosta thrilled audiences before he left Houston for The Royal Ballet. Since her retirement in 2006, she’s had her hands full … More »
Two Pointe cover stars, two Japanese dancers and a woman who rocketed through two ranks in one year are among the dancers newly promoted to The Royal Ballet’s highest ranks. With artistic maturity far beyond her 23 years, we knew it was only a matter of time before Francesca Hayward, who we featured in our … More »
What color is a flesh-toned technique shoe? Usually it’s a light tan, which doesn’t leave much wiggle room for dancers with darker skin. While it’s common for dancers to pancake their shoes to match their skin tone, the fact that “flesh”-colored shoes only come in a few shades—all of which are light—sends a strong message … More »
When Debbie Allen auditioned for a Texas ballet school as a young girl, she was initially rejected because of the color of her skin. Now world renowned for her performance, choreography, acting and producing credits, Allen seems dedicated to fighting the obstacles she once faced. This month, Debbie Allen Dance Academy is hosting DADA … More »
Ballet training and all of its associated fees provide a serious barrier to entry for many aspiring dancers. Tuition, appropriate dancewear, pointe shoes and summer intensives add up, and up…and up. Nowadays, many students also compete and the cost to travel to competitions, pay for custom tutus and contract private coaching is astronomical. Then there’s room and board at a professional school or conservatory, and the private lessons and coaching that many dancers receive regardless of whether they go the competition route.
The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago recently hired nine new dancers—and they’re a notably diverse group, hailing from Cuba, Venezuela and Brazil, as well as the U.S. “I want the company to reflect Chicago’s diversity, and I was conscious of the Joffrey’s past, when dancers like Chilean Maximiliano Zomosa were part of the troupe,” says Artistic … More »
Diversity is not going to just happen to ballet companies—that much is clear. At a time when attitudes toward race seem to be evolving—in this country and across the globe—dancers of color are still too few and far between when it comes to ballet. Yet the situation is not at a standstill. Under the radar, … More »