An elegant dancer doesn’t seem compatible with black-inked designs. But can ballerinas have tattoos as they wish? What’s in it for them to show the world what they cherish in life and what keeps them motivated? It comes with challenges.
Can Ballerinas Have Tattoos?
The short answer is yes, ballerinas can have tattoos if they so wish to. However, it might come with disadvantages.
Ballet dancers are performers, and performers love to express themselves whether it is on the stage or in real life. More often than not, when a person decides to get their skin inked, it can be a statement of freedom, a sign of rebellion, a cultural reminder, and even a result of impulsiveness. Getting a tattoo is not an illegal act.
However, it depends greatly on the agency they work for. Aside from dancing, a ballet dancer is expected to act and play multiple characters. Some roles might not favor a tattoo, and the dancer will miss out on an opportunity.
What Professionals Say
Julie Kent, a former member of American Ballet Theatre turned art director for Washington Ballet, considered tattoos a reminder of one’s truth. According to her, knowing where to place the tattoo and when to flaunt it is the key.
Since makeup is the most common solution, let’s see what a makeup artist thinks of ballet dancers with tattoos.
Sarah Coy, currently under San Francisco Ballet, shares her perspective on dancers being the toughest challenges. Matching colors of the natural skin and the cosmetic is tricky, especially if the design is large and thick. It takes time and skill.
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Famous Ballet Dancers With Tattoos
For example, ballerina Sona Kharatian had a butterfly above her hip and a “harmony” on her ankle – these spots are often covered with clothing.
Sergei Polunin, who used to be a principal in Royal Ballet, has exquisite tattoos on his arms, shoulders, and ribs. These intricate designs contributed greatly to his choreographing of “Take Me to Church” and partially turned him into a famous YouTuber.
On contradictory, some ballet dancers wish they never had any tattoos, such as Sascha Radetsky. He mentions the preparation for an audition and how a tattoo can be the lethal element that turns the table.
Many companies have strict policies and require the ballerinas to cover up their inked artworks. The methods vary, including sleeves and makeup. Let’s proceed and see for yourself if you are willing to go thus far for your tattoos.
Ways to Hide Tattoos While Performing
The to-go method for covering the tattoos would be cosmetics, yet it has certain caution notes. A dancer works as hard as an athlete does, and sweating is an inevitable part of the job. Of course, many cosmetics can handle the moisture, but we don’t want the makeup to end up all over the costly costumes.
Sleeves with skin-toned materials are another effective choice when the dancer needs to hide their inks. The fabrics are usually elastic, thus they will stretch sooner or later. Having several items ready is the way to go.
Nonetheless, makeups require certain skills and sleeves take time to adorn. If you need to change your clothes in between your performances or get ready in a few minutes, adhesive bandages would be much more convenient. Similarly, stickers can be useful in such situations too.
Unusual but quite popular, spray paint seems to be the savior for many ballerinas. Admittedly, various colors are available for your skin tone: brown, olive, tan, and more. These substances are almost perfectly in sync with our skin, plus they don’t fade off easily.
Last but not least, clothing itself can be an acceptable technique to hide tattoos, your options would be leggings, long-sleeved shirts, and more.
Some Challenges When Covering up Tattoos
Tattoos come in different sizes and styles, hence it might be troublesome for the dancers to figure out which to flaunt or to cover.
Furthermore, some spots are exceptionally difficult to conceal: the neck, arm, leg, and thigh are usually visible through thin materials, especially when the dancers have to execute tricky moves.
Let’s take the bandages as an example! It is definitely easy to use, but do you want bandages on your body when you are performing on the big stage?
With sensitive areas like the bikini zone, using makeup is a more appropriate option, but the flaw in this technique is the money you have to spend as well as the risk of getting your outfits ruined with smeared cosmetics. If your pick is latex paint, it’s best to do a patch-test and ensure you are not allergic to latex.
No matter what method you go for, don’t forget that you can’t simply rush it and expect everyone to not notice. Should you ever need advice, your makeup artist and your choreographer would be the most reliable consultant.
Ballet Dancers with Tattoos: Should or Should Not?
Getting tattoos isn’t equal to being unprofessional. The efforts you put into your practice and the performances you deliver will determine your position in this occupation.
However, the tattoos might get in the way of certain roles. When you are on stage and all dressed up, and inked art visible where it is supposed to be concealed might be perceived falsely and affect your appearance negatively.
It’s completely alright to be a ballerina with tattoos, though most experts will recommend choosing the placement carefully and keeping the designs small.
Can ballerinas have tattoos? I suppose the topic is still up for discussion. Dancers are humans, and humans are free to express themselves through artistic tattoos, but there will always be different opinions.
Getting tattooed doesn’t make a dancer less capable, hence they should be fine as long as they seek approval and advice from their managers.