Bloch (USA) has finally released (in August 2017) its Cocoa ballet slippers (otherwise known as technique shoes), and they are a bit of a game changer.
Technique shoes are an absolute staple worn by dancers across all genres. Having them easily available for purchase online is something dancers of colour have never had – other companies that have made technique shoes for dancers of colour have not been anywhere near as accessible.
Bloch has released the ‘Cocoa’ colour in the styles S0277L, the Broadway Lo Character shoe (S0379L), Men’s shoe (S0277M) and light-weight style S0284L. We are relieved they have chosen S0284L in particular – it’s a classic split sole canvas pump that is soft and durable, and is a style that Bloch does exceptionally well. The elastics on the S0284L are pre-sewn and there is no draw string – only elastic – which means you can slip them on and go!
Ballet dancers in particular may prefer the style S0227L – it has a pump construction (a hard heel) which encourages the canvas to hug the arch and reduces material bunching underfoot when pointing, along with tear shaped pads at the toe and heel promote extra flexibility for the foot to arch. For everyone else though, the S0284L is the way to go!
Most of you know the story about how these shoes came into existence. Eric Underwood, soloist for the Royal Ballet (UK) posted an Instagram video of himself ‘pancaking’ his ballet shoes— something the Caucasian dancers in his company are not required to do. Bloch came to the party and the Cocoa ballet shoes are now a dancers reality and are available to purchase online or from Bloch’s NYC flagship store. We hope other dance companies and black owned dance businesses will follow suit.
Review Bloch Cocoa Ballet Slippers
YESSS! I’m a male African American dancer too and I’ve been waiting for these for so damn long and STILL waiting! Bring it on!!!!!
These ballet shoes are great. We should look like dancing barefoot, right? Before this, the choice was quite limited. Nude (a very vague nude), pink and black. I myself have a very light skin and even the nude ones are a bit dark. But what about dancers that get a tan? Our skin colour changes over the year, black or white.