Tattoos and Piercings in Ballroom Dancing

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

  • They're good because they draw attention to you

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#41
Interesting topic. I haven't competed for quite a few years now, and am working on my return to the competition floor. In 2000/2001 I had tattoos and now I very much want them to be removed...because of my dancing...
 
#43
pygmalion said:
Doesn't laser removal leave scars? And isn't it painful? (I have no idea, but that's what I've always thought. :?)
I am not sure about the scars. It is somewhat painful, I think.

But an appropriate dress will also solve the 'problem'...
 
#47
d nice said:
And this is why Lindy Hoppers will always be "Thieves in the Temple of Ballroom".

As a judge myself I just could not ever see myself looking at anything other than someone's dancing.

The onlyway what they were wearing or how they "groom" themselves would effect my evaluation is when it covers up their dancing. If your hair was down to your calves or are wearinga mumu and I can't see what is going on underneath I am likely to give you a lower score... not because of the hair or dress, but simply because I'd miss out on body movement. But then again if what I could see was better than what I got from everyone else then you are still going to place high to first place.

It reminds me of Charlie and Jackie, two Carolina Shag superstars (they are like Fred and Ginger in that dance) were told at the US Open Swing Championships that they could not perform because their clothing was inappropriate... what were they wearing? casual slacks, button down shirts and sweater vests... not formal enough... so they went out and rented matching tuxedos. Needless to say the dance was awesome they kicked everyone's butt, and felt incredibly uncomfortable the entire time. The slacks and vests are pretty much the "uniform" for their dance.

By demanding they were "more appropriate costuming" the officials were attempting to change decades of tradition and the very look of the dance (anyone who has ever seen Carolina Shag will understand why their choice of clothing is casual and unrestrictive).

Then again Ballroom is Ballroom. I think the tans, dresses, make-up, men's clothing, and plastic smiles seen in competitions are pretty repulsive. Yet I can still look past it and see the technique and beauty of the dance. Personally I think Ballroom should get a whole new slate of younger/more accepting judges.
I took a lesson from a judge once and he said that all sorts of little things come into play when they are deciding who is better. Basically they would look for things which make one person worse than other, and if they're don't find anything substatial to pick on, it will be overall appearance. And anything which might make judges go "Huh?" is a bad thing, so why risk it?
 

gracie

Active Member
#48
Michelle DiMascio said:
I realize this thread is old but it seemed the most relevant for the questions I have.

So, about 14 years ago I got a tattoo on my back. This was before I was dancing. It's a kinda big (2 inches) Celtic sun and is between my shoulder blades. I haven't had too many regrets about getting it until lately. That is, until this competition.

My new dress is so gorgeous and classy that I can't imagine having my tattoo show. I'm interested in trying the Dermablend but have some questions the website doesn't seem to answer.

Because the back of the dress is very low and because I dance Smooth there is a danger of the makeup rubbing off onto my coach's tailsuit. Needless to say this is not something I want to happen. I'd prefer not to have to pay to replace the tailsuit. Know what I mean?

Has anyone used the Dermablend and found it to *completely * smudge-proof? Any other comments you'd like to share? Can you recommend a another product that works as well?

Did I say that I'm dancing in 2 days? Thank you.
I wore dermablend after surgery and even following the directions with the setting powder it did smudge- got on clothes, cell phone, you name it. Very greasy- so glad I no longer have to wear it! Hope you find a solution!
 
#49
My opinion: if you make the decision to compete, and you want to win, you have to do what will make the judges happy. No one's forcing you to compete (I assume!) And there are rules; for instance, if you don't want to wear cowboy boots, don't enter a C&W comp. No one's telling you to listen to country music outside of the ballroom, or change your lifestyle--just do what's required/expected during the competition. (C&W is the only comp. I have experience in.) If the judges aren't going to be impressed with your tatoos, or your lack of tan, then you need to do something about it or expect to not win, or don't compete.
 
#50
The way I look at it is that a tatoo or a piercing is a permanent part of your costume...and you have to decide if it is appropriate for the occasion. Piercings you can take out (most of the time), or play down (somewhat). Tatoos you can cover up if you choose, or flaunt if you like. They are always something that you have to consider when you're putting your look together. If the tiger tattoo isn't part of your elegant waltzer image then you should find a way to cover it...or not have it at all if having it will cause you too many problems. I hesitate to tell people what they are and are not allowed to do with their bodies--tattoos and piercings can be very personal and meaningful...but people have to recognize the limitations that a permanent body alteration place on them and the extra effort they may need to make with their "look" in certain situations.
 

Merrylegs

Well-Known Member
#52
Tattoos cannot be removed as easily as cowboy boots. To use your example, it isn't as simple as turning off country music or changing my lifestyle. Duh. So should I become the Hunchback of Notre Dame and never come out during the light of day? No.

I got a tattoo on my back 14 years ago, long before I ever considered that competing in ballroom would be a part of my life. I've always thought my tattoo was a part of me and you could accept it/me or not. It may not necessarily be who I am today but it is who I was all those years ago. Not too many people have completely flipped out about it. In fact, Suzy Q, you've had the most extreme reaction to my tattoo than anyone has in about 9 years. And, I don't think we've ever met, so I find it funny that you are so critical of me. Life is not so black and white as you'd make it out to be.

So, this weekend? I let it all hang out, so to speak. I just didn't get a chance to try anything out, I was out of time to do any experimenting. No one gasped, shrieked or pointed at me in horror. And, you know what? I won all of my events. Granted it was a small comp but given the fact that I was warmly welcomed by all of the people I've known for all the years I've been dancing, I'm guessing everyone was o.k. with it.

My costume was beautiful, my hair was perfect, my makeup very professional looking. I was prepared with my routines and I am relaxed when I'm on the dance floor, it shows. I spend a LOT of money on my presentation.

No one is perfect, everyone has flaws. How you deal with them is the real key to success. On and off the dance floor.

Have a groovy day, o.k?


SuzieQ said:
My opinion: if you make the decision to compete, and you want to win, you have to do what will make the judges happy. No one's forcing you to compete (I assume!) And there are rules; for instance, if you don't want to wear cowboy boots, don't enter a C&W comp. No one's telling you to listen to country music outside of the ballroom, or change your lifestyle--just do what's required/expected during the competition. (C&W is the only comp. I have experience in.) If the judges aren't going to be impressed with your tatoos, or your lack of tan, then you need to do something about it or expect to not win, or don't compete.
 

bjp22tango

Active Member
#53
Michele:

I doubt that SuzieQ was talking to you specifically. Even though the thread was recently resurrected, there were other comments from prior years that I took her to be responding to. I think she and CateyRosie were basically saying the same thing.

Some earlier postings were saying that any kind of piercing/tatooing should be accepted and gotten over.

I think SuzieQ and CateyRosey were saying that you have to work within the constraints of the "competition" you are in. If tatoos/piercings are frowned upon you have to decide whether to "go with the flow" or "swim against the tide".

Incidently, in the recent OPB competition, one of the competitors had a low back latin dress on with a tattoo low in the back that was commented on by the two hosts. Tony Meredith, the retired latin champion, didn't have a problem with it. I would have been interested to see what the thought would have been with a standard or smooth gown.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#55
likewise...i saw nothing of a personal attack there or anything even remotely extreme but having been judged outside the ballroom venue on the basis of a piercing I can understand why someone would be sensitive about it...my entire family decided I was having a mid life crisis when I got the bellybutton pierced...mercifully that is a fairly easy one to conceal
 
#56
Michelle DiMascio said:
Thanks Shannon.

Do you know where they sell that stuff? I called Sephora and they said they don't carry it.

I live in Boston. I'm hoping a major department store carries it. I'm going back to the Dermablend website now.
I got mine at either a Sears, Hecht's or JCPenny. I remember thinking it was an odd store to carry it. It was a department store though, I remember that.
 
#57
pygmalion said:
Doesn't laser removal leave scars? And isn't it painful? (I have no idea, but that's what I've always thought. :?)
It can leave scars and it can be painful and there is also a chance that it might not go away completely. It can also take forever for it to go away if you have skin like mine that holds ink like a tattoo artists dream. I've had about 15 treatments in two years and there is still some ink. So far, no scaring here, scaring really depends on the person. As for the pain, it is short, my treatment only takes about a 1-2 minutes and you get used to it.
 
#58
I didn't find SuzieQ's reaction to be extreme either or directed at anyone in particular.

I have a tattoo (or the remains of one) it is on might right calf. The decision to remove it was based on it looking out of place in dancing and in the office. It drew too much attention and often the wrong types of attention. Covering it became too much of a pain in the butt so I'm taking a more permanent route.

Tattoos are a personal decision but dancing is a public sport and the judges are impacted by these things. Competitors need to make their own personal decisions about whether they want to conform or not/
 

JoepiE

New Member
#59
A nice body is appreciated by everyone. A nice body with piercing and/or tattoos is not appreciated by every single judge. In fact I dare te say that the majority of judges don't like it.

Regardless of my own oppinion on tattoos and piercing I think it's wise to not show them on the dancefloor, risking judges marking you down.
 
#60
I haven't made up my mind about tatooing but i think piercing can really add to a dancers costume in latin (if done tastefully!). I think the matching belly button ring with latin costumes can look fantastic on women..and multiple ear piercings look good because the more glitter the better really. I wouldn't personally have any more than that though. I love guy latin dancers with eyebrow bars as well...but that might be just me lol
 

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