Tattoos and Piercings in Ballroom Dancing

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by ballroomboilergirl, Dec 13, 2003.

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With regards to competition appearance, what do you think of tattoos and piercings on ballroom dance

  1. A big no-no! Shouldn't be seen on competition floor

    81.7%
  2. They're okay as long they aren't very noticeable and don't affect your dancing

    15.6%
  3. They're good because they draw attention to you

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Piercings and tattoos don't matter...its your dancing the judges are watching!

    1.5%
  5. Undecided

    0.8%
  6. Other

    0.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    'A walking recycling plant'?

    I've never seen anyone with tattoos and piercings who fits that description.
  2. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Just a general moderation note here....let's not stray in to generalizing about or stereotyping people who have tattoos.
    Miss Silly likes this.
  3. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Oh, I don't doubt that you're not alone in your distaste for tattoos. But please don't mistake that to mean that everyone agrees with you. I think you'd be surprised by how many people in the ballroom community don't particularly have a problem with them. You may not want to hear it, but ... they're honestly not that big of a deal.

    Now, you may note that I mentioned that the tattoos my pro and her partner have aren't noticeable on the dance floor. Larinda mentioned earlier in the thread that she has one on her foot. Someone mentioned that Mazen has one, and I wouldn't know where, but it's clearly not something that shows up on the dance floor. It's true that they're not really part of the "ballroom" look. But you know what else that's true of? Eyeglasses. That doesn't mean there's anything inherently wrong with them - just that there's a very specific look that one has to go for on the competition floor.

    (Whoops, I was writing that out while latingal was making her moderation note. Hope I didn't step on any toes.)
    dlliba10, Miss Silly and Hedwaite like this.
  4. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Meh. If someone is so closed minded about the fact that a person is sporting some ink, and use some preconceived notion (and that's what it is...a notion...not a fact) to decide said person is not worth knowing...well...I'm quite sure that person, knowing what you think, would feel the same about you.
    leee and SwayWithMe like this.
  5. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    How did this thread get resurrected? I'd never have seen- or commented on- it otherwise. Probably shouldn't have anyway, but everyone else was sharing- and I didn't mean to tar and feather anyone, either.
  6. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    There's a thread on that, too, from years ago. I took issue with that phenomenon then, and if I were still dancing/competing I'd still take issue. Honestly I can think of no other walk of life in which juvenile playground attitudes persist in adulthood, so far as eyeglasses are concerned.
  7. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    One might also debate that eyeglasses as visual correction as opposed to cosmetics aren't a choice. There are a lot of other unfounded stereotypes and misconceptions within the ballroom community about people who go against the grain. I think this thread is just the tip of the iceberg! It's been interesting to see what everyone thinks about various situations.
  8. Wannabee

    Wannabee Active Member

    In regards to tattoos:

    I don't have any problem with any of it to any large degree, but it's definitely not for me. And I don't think anyone can argue that there could be negative impacts from showing them on the ballroom floor. That is a fact, not a notion (nothing here directed specifically at you dancelvr, I just liked your wording).

    If you (used very generically here) want to tat every visible patch of skin and have 18 rods in your face, knock yourself out. But it would be unwise to think that this does not have the potential to impact your presence on the dance floor negatively. And just as I support your right to express yourself in this way, you should support my right (or that of the judges as is the entire point of this thread) to feel about it the way they see fit. You can't control someone else's reactions to things. If your tattoo expressiveness is more important to you than hiding them for a few hours to dance, marks be dammed, then I don't see the problem. But expecting that no judge would (or should) look negatively upon them (for whatever reason, and no, their not liking tattoos or piercings does not make them old-fashioned fuddy-duddies that need to be replaced by anyone under 30. There are plenty of young ones out there that feel the same, just as there are older ones who don't have a problem with them) is not wise. If the risk is worth it, let it all hang out.
    dancelvr and Hedwaite like this.
  9. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    No worries. :) And, please know that my remark was not directed at ballroom judges, but at people in general. I certainly wouldn't expect a ballroom judge to look past a full tattoo body suit, or several large facial piercings. It is ballroom, after all. I have tats on the outside of my right calf, and on my left bicep (that one needs to go or be covered up...ugh). I don't hide the tats on my calf because I love them, but I DO always wear hose, and dance Standard, so there are the long skirts.

    My thoughts were more toward the general distaste and labeling of people (especially women) who have tattoos, as strippers or those who hang out in trashy establishments. That's all.
    Miss Silly and Lioness like this.
  10. Siggav

    Siggav Moderator Staff Member

    Another thing is that high quality well done tattoos, especially large ones can be incredibly expensive so it's actually mostly fairly well off middle class people that can afford them or someone has saved up over a long period of time which is commendable as well really.

    Im a lindy hopper (mostly) and tattoos are not judged negatively in that culture, a lot of international competition winners have them, that's absolutely a different culture with a different "look" than ballroom though. I'd be more worried about dancing with serious piercings just because you can get knocked accidentally pretty easiliy.

    I wear glasses and am looking into getting contact lenses for dancing, it's always annoying getting that mutual glasses "clash" that can happen sometimes when dancing close, say in balboa.
  11. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    I can only say that glasses would fly right off my face during tango...haha. Thank goodness I only need mine for reading.
  12. Janson

    Janson Active Member

    Excessive piercings have the chance of getting caught mid-dance, so from a practical point of view they're not ideal. In general I'm not a fan (wouldn't get one myself) - though I try not to judge a personality from them. Although I'll never understand facial piercings. Individual tattoos can be impressive artwork and a pretty picture, but I can't say I've seen one on a person that I like. And then I just don't think they fit in on the ballroom floor. You don't want a wispy, out-of-place hair so large art and metal is just away from the classic look.
  13. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    How much time do you spend with strippers, vs. students, office workers, et al?
    Lioness, Miss Silly and danceronice like this.
  14. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    When it comes to glasses, they're not ideal IMO less because of a "look" than because I would be constantly worried about them coming off, slipping, or otherwise interfering with my concentration.

    And Janson has a point--when it comes to visible tattoos and big piercings, if that's okay, and it doesn't look distracting, enough about every hair being shellacked into place and tanning until you're a new ethnicity. "Polished and finished" is inherently at odds with "body art like you're auditioning for Queequag in 'Moby-Dick.'"
  15. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    You mean about the bald-spot being shoe-polished on some guys, Lol.
    danceronice likes this.
  16. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Member

    Far from 'stereotyping' anyone, I can't recall having seen a stripper with tats.
    Plenty of waitresses, though.
    Maybe every tattoo parlor ought to be required to show prospective new customers pictures of tattooed older people.
    If that doesn't change their minds, nothing will.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  17. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Showing them a picture of a tattoo on a woman's midriff or waist... during and after pregnancy can also be a huge deterrent.
    Dancing Irishman likes this.
  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Additionally, part of competition is the performance aspect, and connecting with the audience is difficult without eye contact.
  19. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    That's why I wear contacts when I compete or practice. There have been a few times when I've forgotten my contacts, but the nature of our choreography made it impossible to wear glasses, so I essentially went blind and trusted that my partner would help me out. Very interesting in the course of Smooth rounds with five other couples on the floor ...
  20. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Well, some couples already ACT as if they're blind in terms of floorcraft... :rolleyes:
    Smooth Dancer and dlliba10 like this.

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