Aurora Tights creates athletic apparel for dancers and ice skaters in all shades and sizes.
The Aurora team is comprised of a figure skater, synchornized ice skater and a competitive dancer. Jasmine, Imani and Sydney attended the University of Maryland College Park and are sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Jasmine, a figure skater of over 20 years, used to dye her tights in a bathtub before every competition, and the process was time-consuming, messy, experimental, and expensive. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Imani, a lifetime synchronized ice skater, grew up skating in tights that were too pale for her complexion. While they had different experiences, they were unified in feeling marginalized, unheard, and unseen in the sport they loved.
As coaches, Jasmine and Imani noticed that many students, particularly those of color, were reliving their early experiences. They lacked confidence and experienced isolation, loneliness, and identity issues. Many times, athletes like this drew away from the sport - not because of a lack of talent - but due to the lack of community. Inspired by their students, Imani and Jasmine decided to be the catalysts to end the destructive cycle of monoculturalism within performance sports. Together with Sydney, an accomplished competitive dancer with a long history of performing in the wrong shade of tights, the founding team was complete.
In January 2018, Aurora Tights was created. The name Aurora Tights is a play on the Aurora Lights, a natural display of bright and colorful dancing lights in the Earth's sky. Since the creation of Aurora Tights, the team has vowed to make performance sports more inclusive and empower ALL athletes to perform in color.
Both figure skating and dance are diversifying rapidly. To best support this inclusive environment, we need to change the definition of beauty in performance sports. To do this, the first step is ensuring that all performers have apparel in their unique skin tone. Currently, there is a whole population of performers who do not have tights that match their skin color or do not like the shades that are available to them. We strive to make sure women and girls, just like us, feel comfortable in their skin and excel at their athletic passions.
As lifetime performers ourselves, we experienced not having tights in our skin tone. We either wore tights that were meant to fit lighter complexions or had to dye our tights ourselves. In turn, we grew up experiencing dips in confidence, isolation, a sense of not belonging all because of the color of our tights. Now we have decided to be part of the solution. We founded Aurora Tights, an athletic apparel business, but more importantly, a safe space, which celebrates women and girls of all skin complexions and sizes.