This ballerina’s emotional response to finding pointe shoes that match her skin tone has gone viral

'This is why representation matters' say the millions of viewers of this viral video

Ballet pointe shoes
(Image credit: Nisian Hughes/ Getty Images)

Ballerina Kira Robinson has gone viral for sharing an emotional video of her finally owning a pair of pointe shoes that actually match her skin tone. 

The ballerina opened her Suffolk branded brown pointe shoes on camera that replaced her old pointe shoes that were only previously available in pink tones. Until she owned these shoes, she only had ballet pointes that were suitable for a caucasian skin tone.  

She spoke excitedly and said, “I finally got brown pointe shoes, and this is so exciting because it means that I don’t have to pancake my shoes anymore. I can just have them brown already.”  Kira explains that she would “pancake” her old pink shoes, meaning that she would have to cover her shoes in foundation in order to match her skin color. 

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@kiraelon

YAYAYAY i’ll show you guys how they look on later ##fyp ##CleanTok ##blackballerina ##blackgirl ##dancer ##pointe ##pointeshoes ##suffolk ##VisionBoard ##dance

♬ original sound - kira

Fans were shocked that in 2021, brown pointe shoes aren’t regularly available, and ballerinas of color are still expected to pack their foundation onto their shoes in order to have shoes that match their skin tone. Putting foundation on shoes is both a costly and time-consuming process but was necessary due to a lack of variety in pointe shoe colors.

Fans loved this video and commented their support for the ballerina. One fan wrote, “ahhhh omg I’m so happy for you!! I’m so glad the ballet world is finally starting to realize not everything should be tailored towards white girls.” Another commented, “As a black girl that danced in pink shoes and didn’t know any other black girls that did ballet, I’m gonna cry. I’m so excited for you they are gorg.”

Kira is a freshman studying ballet at Oklahoma University. She told Good Morning America, “I received a lot of comments on my TikTok about how representation is super necessary in the dance world and how a lot of people don’t have that or see that often.”

She also revealed that being a person of color in the ballet industry can be difficult. She said, “Sometimes it’s frustrating and annoying, but it’s just how it is.” She continued to state, “The dance world is slow to accept POC (person of color) dancers, and I’ve just had to deal with it and do what I need to do to perform.”

Suffolk Pointe Shoe Co. started selling brown pointe shoes in 2020. Kira said that she thinks the Black Lives Matter movement inspired this new design. Kira said, "I think we are seeing more diversity in products because of the Black Lives Matter movement.” 

She continued, "A lot of people were fed up with companies' lack of effort in diversifying their brand, and it has taken a long time to see that change. Many have signed and sent petitions to ballet brands to create more colors in their products, and Suffolk was one that heard our plea and started making those changes."

Kira also posted a follow-up video that showcased her talent as she danced in the shoes to break them in.

@kiraelon

Reply to @jess.yung since everyone wanted me to put them on here’s some clips of me breaking them in!! ##fyp ##pointeshoes ##blackballerina ##ballet

♬ Jake25.17 sound - 🦋Olivia🦋