This top black ballerina who dances in New York City has received her first pair of brown ballet shoes from London after 11 years of painting her pumps to match her skin tone.
A clip of her showing her joy afterwards has already garnered over 100,000 likes online.
Video Credit: CEN/@ingridsilva
Brazilian ballerina Ingrid Silva is part of the Dance Theatre Harlem in New York and has shared a photo of her first brown ballet shoes from UK firm Freed of London on Twitter with a heartwarming message.
The Afro-Brazilian dancer wrote: “THEY ARE FINALLY HERE!!!!!!! For the past 11 years, I’ve been paiting my pointe shoes with foundation. But not anymore. My pointe shoes matches my skin tone, and that’s revolutionary. I really thought this wasn’t going to come any time soon, but hey it’s Here!!!! And I can say is thank you to Diversity in ballet (sic).
“The importance of these shoes is an extreme revolution in the world of dance!”
The picture of the brown shoes has received over 104,000 likes and netizen ‘lidia’ wrote: “My God, how bizarre to think that something so simple is incredible, right?”
And Silva, 30, responded saying: “Yes it is, because for many it’s a luxury or they don’t understand the art. But as some are learning now, something so simple like this took years to happen and now it has happened.”
The dancer also shared a video of her hand-dyed shoes and wrote: “Each bottle costs 12 USD. It is an extra expense, not counting the time to do it handmade, which I have taken on for more than a decade.”
Freed of London wrote online: “Ingrid Silva first got in touch with us in February 2019 after seeing our #BalletBrown & #BalletBronze Pointe Shoe colours. Ingrid is a wearer of Chacott’s brand of Pointe Shoes and expressed interest in ordering a pair of Pointe Shoes from Chacott which utilizes Freed of London’s #BalletBrown satin fabric.
“As Chacott is our sister company we were able to help Ingrid out and after months of back and forth, Ingrid has now received her Pointe Shoes! Ingrid has been colouring her shoes for the past 11 years! So happy that we were able to help.”
Other brands such as American company Gaynor Minden have also started to make the coloured shoes to avoid dancers having stark changes from their skin tone with the shoes.
Silva grew up in Rio de Janeiro, in the eastern Brazilian state of the same name and started dancing when she was eight years thanks to the social programme Dancando Para Nao Dancar (Dancing To Not Dance).
The organisation helps girls in poor neighbours in Brazil receive social support, and has been in operation since 1995.
Silva cooperates with United Nations to promote equal opportunities in education and she said at a NATO gala in New York in 2018: “When I was 12 years old and lived in Brazil, I was the only Afro Brazilian in the dance schools. Inclusion is something we need to work on together, people need to know we belong to something, not feeling aligned and surrendering only because we are different.”
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