Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ink or no?

This is a question that's been running around my mind since I turned eighteen, with a little curiosity beforehand. Tattoos? Can I have a tattoo as a dancer? Will it be frowned upon? My curiosity and yearning became even worse when I was asked to design a tattoo that represented me as a person as an assignment for my sociology class. I became attached to the design.

An article just appeared in Dance Magazine titled "Indelible Expressions," which touches on the topic and meaning of tattoos. A soloist with American Ballet Theatre, Sascha Radetsky has his fair share of large, dark tattoos. While he understands when he is asked to cover his tattoos for contemporary or classical ballets in most cases, he expresses his belief that ballet and ink can coexist. They even have some similarities: dance and tattoos are both artistic forms of self-expression, "only the latter doesn't require a theater, peculiar female footwear, or unfortunate male undergarments to function." (I like this guy.)

I'm still torn, because even though tattoos are becoming more and more widely accepted, Radetsky notes that many dancers lose out on job opportunities because of their tattoos. Even though there is now makeup or flesh-colored tape that can cover almost any tattoo, some choreographers (especially in classical ballet) do not approve or like to hire dancers that have any tattoos, regardless of whether they are seen in the costume or not. Modern dance and contemporary ballet are becoming more accepting of tattoos, but you'll probably forever have to cover tattoos for a music video or the Nutcracker.

Despite the hassle and potential job loss, it's still attractive. What do you think?
only the latter medium doesn’t require a theater, peculiar female footwear, or unfortunate male undergarments to function. - See more at:


  1. Tattoo ink is not FDA Approved and it runs some major health risks later on in life. Here are some articles you might find informative on this topic,

  2. have you ever seen an old person with tattoo's? it looks bad. actually kind of creepy. and you will probably regret it after the fact, when there's nothing you can do about it. plus, i at least find it hard to respect someone with tattoo's, and it would be a pain to cover them up for every show.