What Do Ballroom & Latin Dancers and Drag Queens Have In Common?

If you did not watch until now “RuPaul’s Drage Race”, close this article (just kiddin’, finish reading it first!) and go watch it. “RuPaul’s Drage Race” is an American reality competition television series where drag queens showcase their vast pallet of talents.

As a dancer, I am attracted to anything glittery or that has to do with entertainment. Therefore, I fell in love with drag queens’ artistry, and I couldn’t stop noticing some aspects that dancers have in common with them.  

“Lipstick, Powder and Paint”

Both dancers and drag queens have incredible skills with makeup. Everything is over the top, and the reason is that both types of makeup are based on stage makeup.

In stage makeup, you need to exaggerate your facial features because the stage lighting is super strong. 

Dancers even borrowed some of the tips and tricks drag queens use to make their facial features more feminine. They use a lot of highlighter to lift the cheekbones and contour to define, enhance, and sculpt the face’s structure. 

Another tip dancers borrowed from drag queens is “baking”. Applying a heavy amount of translucent powder will set your makeup and prevent you from sweating on that dance floor. 

Now, add some glitter and some XXL lashes “and 5, 6, 7, 8”!

What Do Ballroom & Latin Dancers and Drag Queens Have In Common?
Dancer makeup made by MUA Elena Likirichenko
What Do Ballroom & Latin Dancers and Drag Queens Have In Common?
Drag queen Alyssa Edwards

“Walk, Walk, Fashion Baby!”

Both dancers and drag queens are incredible at knowing how to carry themselves, especially in high heels.

And while we’re on the fashion subject, I am pretty sure that no other performers have so much glitter, lycra, lace, and Swarovski stones on their costumes. The flamboyant costumes are simply pieces of art. They have to attract all the attention! 

PS: That’s why when a dancer or a drag queen has a show, you always see them with the most oversized suitcases.

Another skill that drag queens and dancers have in common is knowing how to dress according to their figure or create the illusion of the shape they want to have. And they do that through the materials they use on their dresses, the stoning patterns, or where to add volume.

“Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent” 

Could you please point out a dancer or a drag queen who isn’t dramatic? Because I couldn’t find one.

This amount of drama also enables us to be super charismatic and cheeky. Drag queens are known for their sarcastic but tasteful comments, while good dancers will always know how to be playful on the dancefloor.

Both dancers and drag queens, being performers, know how to play different roles and how to truly embody those characters while dancing (or singing!).

Oh, and shhh…a little secret, as we already mentioned drama, we all can’t help ourselves to sharpen our ear to a little bit of gossip (a.k.a “spilling the tea”). 

We are all strong characters. Doing drag or dancing requires a lot of willpower, courage, ability to face critiques, professionalism, dedication, and PASSION.

To end this article, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from RuPaul: 

“Drag doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.”

It applies so beautifully to our artform as well because when you dance, you do not become somebody else. It’s just your personality that is blossoming!


I've started dancing when I was 9 years old and it has been a part of me ever since. I love to surround myself with everything dancesport related. Now I get to experience the world of dancing through a writer's lens.


Tags: ballroom dancing dancers drag fashion makeup RuPaul

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