I believe that everything in moderation is a good thing, body-art included. Piercings and tattoos offer yet another option for personal expression, just as song selection, paint colors and pitch offer choices for artists in other fields outside of dance. I know that my look definitely plays a role in my future employment, and that the minute I walk into an audition, I’m being judged…and surprise, you are too.
I myself have five piercings (all in my ears) and a tattoo (on my back) that doesn’t really need any extra work to conceal when I perform, but have several friends with numerous piercings and ink all over their body. My Southern friend Carolina for example, has gauged ears, tattoos on either foot, and ink on one entire side of her torso. This girl however, also performs all over the place on campus; it’s definitely not slowing her down.
I think that there are a few important things to consider if your idea of making a statement is dying your hair blue, and getting a tattoo on your forehead:
1. You gotta do you. It’s not about what makes everyone else around you happy, if having full-sleeves is what inspires you to create and contribute to the artistic community, I hope you have a high pain tolerance, period. If I always listened to the people around me (the people that I really do trust), I wouldn’t have any piercings or tattoos, because
“if I was supposed to have holes/ink on my body, I would have come out of the womb with them…”
2. While you’re doing you, you also have to anticipate that the people around you are going to be doing them, and that you may not exactly fit into their aesthetic, solely based on what your appearance may or may not represent. That’s the harsh reality of our business; similar to weight concerns, in dance, your body is your instrument, and your outside appearance is the best marketing tool you have to offer future employers.
3. If you work for yourself, you’re set. If you’re your own boss, nobody can tell you to remove your nose piercing for performances. Essentially, your glitter is your business.
Just some food for thought. What are some of your experiences with body art and working in the field?