Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tanning for Ballroom Dancing (Dancesport) Competition!

Hello everyone!

Today, I want to talk about something that seems to be a bit controversial in the ballroom world; Tanning.  Now, I understand why it is so controversial because we all know being out in the sun for an extended amount of time to tan is not so great for our skin, and using the tanning beds is not recommended either.  Also, we are all beautiful, no matter what color skin we have, and we should all know that and embrace that and etc.  
However, in the world of ballroom dancing, where the women are supposed to be bronzed goddesses, and where how you look matters so much, it does help to be tan.  Being tan makes us look more toned, (I mean, why do you think body builders do it?) and when I'm in skimpy Latin dancing outfits, I will take all the help I can get! ;)  Besides helping us look better/more toned/etc, it is also just in the ballroom dancing culture to tan.  I mean, do you think this blonde beauty, world champion Yulia Zagoruychenko, was born with that bronzed, glowing skin?  No.  

and though I am not blonde or ginger, in fact, I am Asian so supposedly I should have some color, I tend to get quite pale, especially during and after the winter months (so right now).  And since my dancing partner, David, is blessed with naturally bronzed skin, I really felt that my skin needed some help.  For your reference, here is what we look like side by side.   yup.  I look practically albino.  shield thine eyes from the glare bouncing off of my skin.

Now, I have never tanned just to be tan, and the only reason I have ever tanned was for ballroom, so I don't have that much experience tanning, but I have tried 3 different products (Jergens and L'oreal), and so far this is the only one that is dark enough and doesn't turn me orange.  Plus, it doesn't have the really awful fake tanner smell.  Well, David thinks it still has a strong smell, but for me, it's nothing compared to the other ones I've tried!  So the one I recommend is this one::  Sun Self Tanning Lotion in Dark.

It comes out in this greenish/brownish lotion that smells a bit like chocolate covered cherries (very artificial one), but I think the green in it is what prevents us from turning orange.  I apply it at night after the shower (with good exfoliation all over the body) an hour or so before bed, and use latex gloves to apply it.  It recommends letting it dry for a little bit before going to bed, so that's why I give it an hour. When I apply, I use a very generous amount all over wherever my body will be exposed (so in my case for this competition, that includes arms, legs, chest, and majority of my back).  Make sure you cover everywhere evenly!  The first time I did it, I noticed that I missed a lot of areas where I couldn't see like backs of my legs and arms, and of course my back.  For the back, you may want to enlist some help from a close friend, a fellow dancer, or roomies!  Also, I would be very generous with the lotion because the first time I used it, I used it very sparingly because I thought it would look streaky if everything was not absorbed.  The next day, I found that it actually made things look more streaky and not quite dark enough. Having tried it 3 times now, I have discovered that you can just really lather it on, and even if there's excess amount of product, it won't leave you streaky (you can either brush off the extra product when it dries, or you can just take a shower the next morning and it will wash off).   It is a little scary when you see streaks everywhere, but as long as you rub it in well, the tan will not be streaky.  After it dries a little bit, put on loose PJs, and go to bed (on dark sheets).  When you wake up and take a shower, you'll be left with this!

Just for your reference, here is the before and after! I know the lighting isn't the same because we took these outside, but at least we have David as the control. =)   much closer to his skin tone, yay!  haha

While it is much darker than how I was (this is after my 2nd time applying it), it's still not quite dark enough, so I'll probably apply another layer before the competition.  It is recommended that you apply it no more than 3 times a week, so I am doing 3 coats of it before the competition.  I have also decided to do it every other day, so for the competition that is happening Saturday, I have decided to tan Sunday night, Tuesday night, and Thursday night.  I know there are tanners that you can literally put on right before the competition like you are painting your body (I think it's called ProTan?) but I don't mind doing it more gradually so I can walk around outside before and after the competition without attracting too many odd glances  =)
I would exfoliate every day while you are using this product (or while you are tan) so that fading of the tan is gradual.  no one wants patchy sort of tan/sort of pale skin!  =)

Now, having said that, if you don't want to tan for a ballroom competition, no one will force you to do so.  You can still dance just as well pale as you can if you are tan, and especially in the Syllabus levels, how tan you are probably doesn't really matter.  And really, in the end, how you dance is much more important than how tan you are.  However, I think by the time you are competing at the Open level, you would probably want to tan, and when and if you decide to do so, I hope this was helpful!

What types of tanners do you use?  any other ones you would recommend?
Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

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