Image Studios in Dancesport: Is Perfection Too Much?

Dancesport is about beauty, harmony, elegance, and style. Details play such an important role, and dancers have become increasingly aware of their overall look on the floor. Nowadays it is impossible to think of going to a competition without first booking a professional hairstylist and makeup artist.

The Importance of Your Look

Dancers have sought after the perfect look since day one. Dresses, shoes, tail suits—everything—had to be flawless, especially for the main events of the year. But for the top couples, a perfect image wasn’t enough. It had to be distinct, unique. 

Champions not only put on a stunning performance with their talent, charisma, and innovative routines; they also make the spectators fall in love with their unique looks.

Creating a unique look takes time,  creativity, and talent. All these great couples want to show something that others hadn’t even thought about. That can be something super “extra,” or perhaps the exact opposite, showcasing a “less is more” approach. 

Self-Styled Hair and Makeup 

These days, it is difficult to imagine that dancers used to do their own hair and makeup.  Even for people who began dancing over ten years ago, it’s impossible to imagine dancers ever having done their own hair and makeup.

Then, there were only a few ladies—mostly the top dancers—who had their hair and makeup professionally done. But in most cases, you were on your own!

And I’m talking about the days when YouTube tutorials weren’t a thing. You had to develop a solid set of skills if you wanted to rely on yourself. If not, you relied on the support of your partner (not the best idea 😅), your mother, or a fellow competitor. 

Now, that we’re on this topic, if you really want to improve your hairstyling skills, follow Madis Abel’s course on Dancesportlife Academy on “How To Make A Ballroom Dancing Hairstyle For Men”

The Birth of Image Studios

What was once unimaginable is now a reality: professional hairstylists and makeup artists (MUAs) for dancers whenever they are desired, otherwise known as image studios.

It started with just a few stylists working from small areas in nearby hotels or simply alongside the competition floor. But soon enough, they developed into huge, on-site workspaces where ten or fifteen dancers could be styled at the same time. 

The concept exploded over a few short years and the demand became immense. Just imagine: you can book a space a few hours before your first round. You can finally sleep without any stress, knowing that a professional will be responsible for creating your look. You’re off the hook!

In the beginning, this special service was only available at the main events of the year. Now, we have at least one image studio at every competition. Even though the price increases yearly, it doesn’t seem to stop dancers from booking professional hairstylists and MUAs. Dancers quickly got used to having someone else taking care of their hair and makeup, and now simply cannot imagine life without them. Let’s be honest: For boys, it’s just a matter of not looking lazy… But for girls, this has been the best thing in the world! 

Being Perfect, or Perfect Copies?

Where at the beginning, only the top couples showed off a perfect, professionally styled look, today almost everybody has perfect hair and makeup. And not only in the adult category; even children choose image studios. 

It’s easy to see why dancers are choosing image studios. Spectators enjoy it, parents feel extremely proud, and teachers never have to worry about how their students will look. The results are stunning.

But let’s just step back a bit and think a little more deeply. 

What do adjudicators look for? The competitors who stand out from the crowd!

On one side, image studios create the best look for you, but on the other side, everyone achieves this same level of “perfection”—the same look. Obtaining that level of “perfection” used to be unique, but it has become quite common.

Nevertheless, this can only be a reason to challenge the dancers and the stylists to research. Be innovative and creative. The beauty of dancesport is to show character and personality and your look should help you achieve that. 

Tell us how you make your look unique in the comments section!


Italian, dancing since the age of 5 and currently based in Moscow. With his partner Ekaterina Utkina, he is in the top 50 WDSF Adult Standard World Ranking, representing the Russian Federation.


Tags: competitions makeup makeup artists MUA

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