Nashville Ballet Says Goodbye to “Ballet Pink”

June 27, 2022

While BIPOC dancers at Nashville Ballet have long had the choice to wear skin-toned tights and shoes for performances,­ most of the other dancers defaulted to the more readily available pink for classical repertory. As part of the company’s efforts to become more diverse and equitable, all dancers will now wear dancer-specific flesh-tone tights and shoes. “For me classical ballet is all about the line to infinity in an arabesque, which stretches uninterrupted from the arms to the legs and toes,” says artistic director Paul Vasterling. He adds that pink tights and shoes, with their original European aesthetic, are not in keeping with his ambition of promoting the individuality of Nashville Ballet’s dancers.

The transition was first tested with last year’s well-loved production of Nashville’s Nutcracker. The company has now adopted the change for all productions, for which the dancers adjust the shade of their own shoes and Nashville Ballet’s costume department dyes tights, ribbons and elastics to match.