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  1. #1
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    Question Do large tattoos limit performance opportunities?

    How much would you guess a large tattoo might hold one back, at least in their ability to get many opportunities to perform in belly dance styles other than Tribal or Fusion?
    I have a large traditional style chest piece i do like my tattoo, but now i see what people mean about regret, i don't regret the design or the piece other than not having the option of baring my chest all feminine and such. and now, i *just* considered that it may affect my marketability as a dancer since i do gravitate more towards Egyptian and Cabaret styles of dance, which are pretty much large-tattoo free (it seems). especially when considering Middle Eastern oriented events, i imagine that the tattoo could become an issue.

    how much of a hindrance can my tattoo end up being in the performance arena??

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sophia Maria's Avatar
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    I don't know of many cabaret/Egyptian dancers with tattoos. However, I know Michelle Joyce has a noticeable one on her lower back, and it doesn't seem it have a negative effect on her performance.


    What do other people think?

  3. #3
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Depends on where you are - here on the California central coast its pretty much EXPECTED that a Belly Dancer will have tattoos - Tribal, Cabaret, Folkloric, whatever. Lower back tattoos are especially popular - even I have one! I personally think they add to the costume...

    I know Gia out of New Jersey has several, and it certainly hasn't restricted her (Cabaret) dancing that I know of. She recently opened for BDSS!
    Last edited by Zorba; 04-18-2012 at 08:46 PM.

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Yes, large tattoos, especially in unconventional places, do affect your marketability. I know a few famous belly dancers outside the tribal/fusion/gothic realms who have visible tatoos, but they aren't too large or obstructive and look feminine (butterflies, flowers, etc). Some dancers I know have multiple tattoos, but they are all somewhat hidden away and the visible ones aren't very big, so they don't encounter any issues. A chest tattoo might be problematic... but it all depends on your area, the venue, the tattoo...

  5. #5
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    I feel like it's important to say that if it DOES affect you, a chest tattoo is actually not all that difficult to cover up. There was a "mastectomy friendly costume" thread either on here or on bhuz that had a lot of costumes that would not only hide surgery scars, but also disguise a tattoo, and still look ravishing.

    Yup yup, it was on bhuz. http://www.bhuz.com/belly-dance-beau...-costumes.html

    There are a couple different suggestions, including several similar to what Shanazel posted. And another that I love that's similar to View C of this pattern: http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m632...hp?page_id=481
    Last edited by SeeJaneDance; 04-19-2012 at 03:23 PM.

  6. #6
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    there is a pic of the tattoo....i do love it...

    but i do wonder how hard it would really be to cover up....

    then again, what can i do if i can't? nothing. i *do* live in california, so that might at least help. i just started dancing at Jodette's, so i think after awhile i will ask her opinion (if she doesn't offer it before then!) as she knows the market in sacramento pretty well....

    *hope hope*
    i do like tribal...just hard to get into that IN sacramento...and i feel egyptian music much more than tribal.....

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    No written law says you have to show boobage to belly dance. If you want to hide it completely go with a top that covers the center of your chest to to the neck and leaves your arms, back, and shoulders uncovered. Couldn't find exactly the picture I am thinking of but imagine a bra made on the order of the upper bodice of this dress:
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  8. #8
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    OR you can empasize it by adding glitter glue strategically placed that would match your costume...
    --
    Daim.

  9. #9
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by double_frick View Post


    there is a pic of the tattoo....i do love it...
    You certainly wouldn't have a problem with that over here. I know several gals who have similar - and being that its pretty, not some punk thing full of death and destruction adds to its appeal.

    But the Valley is different, especially the southern end. Since you're in the north-central end, and in a larger city - my *guess* is that you'd have little problem. *shrug* California is, thank Goddess, different from the rest of the country.

    Love the facial expression!

  10. #10
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to be completely blunt here and say that this tattoo will probably severely limit your professional opportunities. I don't think it would be fair for me to pretend that isn't the case when you are here asking for honest opinions.

    That isn't to say you can't become a professional dancer... you can do so and you can do it in any style that you wish so long as you can learn that style well. THAT will depend only on your talent and how hard you work. There are different kinds of professional dancing, and different opportunities out there so you can absolutely find a niche for you if you work hard enough and market yourself well.

    BUT you will also encounter a lot of closed doors based solely on your tattoo. Some of them you will be able to open up if you cover it up, but not every gig is going to want you to cover up like that. Let's face it, for a lot of gigs we are expected to show skin. It would be very hard for you to break into the Arab club scene for example, because, to be blunt, they want to see cleavage. But they do not want to see tattooed cleavage (there is more of a stigma surrounding tattoos among Arabs than there is among Americans, you can probably get away with minor tattoos but nothing so big, especially if it's on your cleavage or belly).

    Don't let that discourage you, because there is still a lot you can do in the professional realm. Family-oriented parties and restaurants where you can be more covered up, alternative-oriented events where people are more accepting of tattoos, and of course teaching, just to name a few. Just don't be surprised when some people do take issue with it.

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