We caught up with Antenna tenants Laura Grant and Stacey Green following the launch of their new inclusive brand, Shades Dancewear, to find out more about the project and where the idea came from.
It all started with the TIRED Movement (Trying to Improve Racial Equality in Dance); the mission to unite the dance community with a seamless line of communication that both educates and motivates teachers of our future generation. Co-founders of TIRED and Shades Dancewear, Laura Grant and Stacey Green created TIRED to be inclusive and informative, and to provide a safe space for honest conversations.
Thanks to those open conversations, Laura and Stacey found that there was a severe lack of inclusivity in dancewear – specifically for dancers of colour. Stacey explains:
“As the founders of the TIRED Movement we recognised the lack of inclusive dancewear for all ages, and wanted to change this.”
The pair decided to do some research and struggled to find many companies offering dancewear for all ethnicities. They therefore made the bold decision to set up their own inclusive dancewear brand, and have made lots of sacrifices to turn this idea into a reality. Stacey talked to us about why this brand is so important to them.
“Shades Dancewear allows dancers to embrace their ethnicity from the very first time they step into a dance class. It is important to us that all dancers are able to retain their identity and have access to the same opportunities.”
So, how does it work? First, you order your free colour match swatch to help you decide which of the four shades is right for you. Once you’ve decided on a shade, you can order ballet socks, convertible tights, dance belts, ballet shoes and jazz shoes. It’s worth noting that nowhere else in the world is offering four shades in men’s support belts.
Laura told us why brands like this are crucial for the dance industry:
“Our goal is to promote inclusivity in dance and to make sure that dancers of all skin tones feel seen, heard, and valued. We believe that dance should be for everyone, and we’re proud to be making a difference in the dance community.”
This is just the start for Shades though, as there are many more genres, accessories and tights that Laura and Stacey would love to add to the range, and we can’t wait to see where their journey takes them.
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