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

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    264

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
Thanks WFS and Fasc, it was fun and I love working with him in any capacity. He is very dear to me, a great coach and friend, full of wonderful knowledge and wisdom. The lecture was a subject that I love and never was able to explore with any partner, so even getting to do just a tiny bit of it with him was really fun.
 
Tattoo and ballroom dance

Do you think that having a tattoo is a bad thing for ballroom dance ? I know that it would look weird if you have something on your neck and dance for example waltz but if your tattoo is on less visible place on your body..is it problem ? For example on my chest or arm ? thanks for soon replies :)
 

Cordy

New Member
As a Collegiate DanceSport competitor, I was regularly disqualified for "unfair attention from the judges" in Bronze and Silver levels but it didn't matter in Gold and above because sequins, feathers, and the like are all accepted to GAIN attention from the adjudicators.
 

ajiboyet

Well-Known Member
Standard is to some extent conservative. I don't think a tattoo is a good idea. Except it's completely invisible, like on your thigh or something...
 
I encourage anybody to do what will make them happy, but I've always wondered about what's appropriate in a ballroom, mostly talking about comps.

1) gauges: I personally don't like large gauges and doubt the judges do either, but what about small ones? I had a friend who wore 1/2 inch rhinestone plugs, and they were actually quite pretty.

2) piercings: What about a small nose stud? Dermal like a rhinestone beauty mark? How many piercings do you think is appropriate on the ears? I have 2 on each lobe, and am considering a 3rd. What about belly rings?

3) tattoos: I'm not talking about a full sleeve or "tramp stamp", but what about small ankle/foot tattoos that many people have? Or wrist tattoos? Should they all be covered with makeup or fabric, or do you guys think that something subtle is appropriate?

I generally go with the "if I wouldn't wear/expose it to a job interview, then I wouldn't wear it at a comp" but I feel like there are many gray areas. What if the tattoo was something to do with a loved one, or even dancing? I feel like if people are gluing rhinestones to their hair, then what's wrong with a small nose stud? I'm interested to hear others' thoughts and opinions on this :)
 
We had other threads on this, but from a spectator point of view tattoos are distracting. They can have the effect that people stop watching your dancing and start guessing the size of that flower on your back or arm, or wondering what the rest of the ink looks like. Also, even if a tattoo had something to do with a loved one, I'd think it still needs to be covered for a job interview. So your approach still applies.
 

dbk

Well-Known Member
I have nothing against tattoos or piercings - ok, I do have something against piercings on the comp floor, but for practical reasons (ouch!).

The only thing I personally don't like is when people have tattoos that look weird with their costumes. Like a piece on their back that is half-covered by their dress, or an upper arm tattoo that doesn't really mesh with the neckline. Either get a dress that showcases the tattoo attractively (which IMO is kind of hard to do) or cover it up. I don't think it looks "inappropriate" - just messy.
 

dlliba10

Well-Known Member
The only thing I personally don't like is when people have tattoos that look weird with their costumes. Like a piece on their back that is half-covered by their dress, or an upper arm tattoo that doesn't really mesh with the neckline. Either get a dress that showcases the tattoo attractively (which IMO is kind of hard to do) or cover it up. I don't think it looks "inappropriate" - just messy.
Watched a comp last week where one of the Pro Latin gentlemen had a deep v-neck shirt ... and a tattoo at the top of his abdomen. My friends and I literally spent more time trying to decipher what the tattoo was of in the midst of his dancing rather than paying attention to the dancing itself. For those interested, we came up with "bush," "head of broccoli," "cat," "dog," until we finally figured out it was a dragon once he stopped moving. Very aesthetically distracting.
 

Lyra

Active Member
I think it depends I jnow a guy who has a very large tattoo on his upper arm and was a successful competitor at national/international level. He always covered it for Standard (well the jacket sleeve would cover it anyway) but not always for Latin, if he felt it "fit" the effect they were going for and he never felt it caused a problem and never had any comments. However, I do remember him saying that at the top level he tended it to cover it for Latin as well, because he didn't want the judges to be distracted, and as he said, you never know what prejudices someone might have.

That was a very big, noticeable tattoo though. These days, I don't think that small tattoos are a big deal, and I see many multiple ear piercings and belly button rings. I think that facial piercings would still be a no no though
 

danceronice

Well-Known Member
We had other threads on this, but from a spectator point of view tattoos are distracting. They can have the effect that people stop watching your dancing and start guessing the size of that flower on your back or arm, or wondering what the rest of the ink looks like. Also, even if a tattoo had something to do with a loved one, I'd think it still needs to be covered for a job interview. So your approach still applies.
Some girl at Indiana had a rose on her calf, and when I watched her heats I saw it more than I saw her feet. If she has bad feet, maybe that's a good thing, but it was distracting. Especially if it clashes with the costume colors.

I find gauges really ugly no matter what circumstance, and when it comes to piercings I'm too used to jobs and activities where everything other than maybe a tiny stud in the earlobe is a safety or health/sanitation hazard or both. I can't even wear rings because I get focused on them snagging or slipping or jabbing my pro in the hand.
 

Miss Silly

Well-Known Member
I have an extremely large tattoo that pretty much covers half my side. It's a piece I had done before i ever even imagined i would be competing in dance. For Standard, i can pretty much cover the entire thing if my dress has a full back and enough sleeve to cover the top part of my shoulder. Luckily with a standard gown that's pretty easy. Latin gets a lot tougher. I do make an effort to costume as strategically as possible. I've used tattoo cover up in the past and it's a messy situation. I've seen a girl compete in pro smooth with a large tattoo on her back and she covered it up with make up, but in a few figures of their routine, her partner's hand was slipping all over the place because of the gooeyness of the makeup cover up. I wondered, that tattoo would have been so easy to cover with a differently cut costume.....why didn't she just go that route? Maybe it's cause that costume was all she had or could afford, which is understandable... but generally make-up over a tattoo (which easily just ends up looking like severe bruising) results in more mess than just letting the tattoo be (although a darker tan helps).

Anyway, being a person that has a significantly large tattoo.... while I LOVE my piece, i also agree that it looks incredibly distracting for what the general consensus of ballroom "look" is. I agree entirely with dbk's statement that while I also wouldn't consider them "inappropriate", they do tend to make the overall presentation messy.
 
I don't think piercings are a problem because most aren't too noticable especially when dancing. I think if a person does have a tattoo though they should cover it up in some way shape or form... personally... i find tattoos to be very distracting and look slightly unprofessional on the floor
 

Lioness

Well-Known Member
I think these days, a lot more people have tattoos and it's just something that should be becoming more acceptable. I personally don't find them distracting-piercings or tattoos. It's nice if they blend with the dress, but it's not strictly necessary.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
The problem with tattoos is that they're something that "doesn't belong there," so your eyes are drawn to them. A person with a large birthmark would have the same effect, like Mikhail Gorbachev having Alaska on his forehead. Piercings are less obvious (unless they're odd ones, like back piercings), and we're accustomed to women wearing blingy jewelry anyway, especially in ballroom.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
I know a woman with big tats on both shoulders...I have seen them look distracting and I have seen them be okay...when she wore a halter style, very smooth looking dress, they were sort of jarringly off theme.....when she has worn a dress with ruffles on the shoulders and the tats were just peeking out, they almost looked like an added bit of lace embellishment and were not as distracting...I do think it is something a dancer needs to consider when choosing their costuming
 

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