This is the first of our Knitted Strong interview series. We interviewed people in the dance community who are fighting for inclusion and diversity about why having tights that match dancer's skin tones is important. Read what Anekia has to say below.
How did you first come across Artist Universe and their brand of Tagless Tights?
I came across Tagless Tights by having a conversation with another studio owner about how much of a challenge it is to find tights and dance supplies for black and brown dancers. That one conversation led to an introduction to Artist Universe and Tagless Tights.
What conversation do you feel needs to be had more in dance studios across the country and world?
Tradition doesn't always equal truth. When owners and dancers speak about dance the conversation often shifts to tradition. However tradition does not represent the amazing diversity found in dance. Its a conversation that many don’t realize they need to have, that dance blossoms because of innovation. Innovative thinking is the source our real truth. Dance is for everyone and everyone deserves the opportunity to dance.
How did Tagless Tights make you feel?
Hopeful! It is beacon that let everyone knows that there is acceptance in dance and dancers will no longer be made to feel excluded at the bar.
What kind of hope do you see for the future for dancers of color?
One day they will be recognized by the beauty of their creativity and not the color of their skin.
What does the Tagless Tights message, "Knitted Strong. Wonderfully Made. Just like you!" mean to you?
As the human race we are stronger together, and as dance family we accomplish more side by side.