Why Do Ballroom Dancers Wear Fake Tan?

Why Do Ballroom Dancers Wear Fake Tan?

While ballroom and fake tan have become synonymous, it’s not always obvious as to the reasons why ballroom dancing specifically has its dancers wear fake tan.  

So let’s discover why the marriage of ballroom dancing and fake tan came to be. 

Common Reasons Why Ballroom Dancers Wear Fake Tan

To Enhance Beauty

While every skin tone is beautiful, many dancers believe that adding fake tan will enhance their skin tone by producing a healthier glow.

Whether they want to give the illusion of having come back sun-kissed from a holiday or simply prefer the way they look with it on, dancers will use fake tan as a solution. 

It Creates Elegance

Whether dancing the Waltz or American Smooth, a ballroom dancer’s main aim is to create elegance. 

While only a small contribution in comparison to a dancer’s skill and training, fake tan enhances the elegance in a dancer’s appearance. The golden glow that a dancer may not possess naturally, can be given with a fake tan. 

To Accent The Body’s Movements

As with any dance, each move and dynamic must be seen. Be it in a live theatrical performance, or under the lights of a TV studio, a dancer’s skin tone can become washed out under the heavy lighting, meaning their movements are less accentuated. 

By adding fake tan to the skin, the performer's movements can be seen more clearly by audiences and judges alike. 

To Hide Sweat

While some dancers will wear fake tan to hide beads of sweat, others will wear it to not appear red in the face after heavy exercise. Part of this is to maintain the notion of effortless movement, as in ballroom dances, the soft and graceful appearance is paramount. 

Other performers will opt for fake tan if they feel self-conscious, which is particularly helpful when they are being watched by audiences at home. With camera equipment able to zoom in and offer close-ups, more of the performer is on display. 

It’s More Photogenic 

By enhancing beauty, hiding sweat, and creating elegance, it isn’t hard to see why it’s more photogenic if a performer wears a fake tan.

Often, some of the most successful dancers will take on publicity and advertising campaigns about their touring shows or even beyond their world of dance. For example, one of Strictly Come Dancing’s favourite couples, Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec, embarked on a TV Christmas advert in 2022. 

By wearing fake tan, the ballroom photogenic image continues by keeping the golden glow.  

It Boosts Confidence

Not all dancers are confident about the way they look, and not all dancers can perform without nerves. For some of these performers, their trusty fake tan provides the answers. 

By wearing fake tan, they don’t have to face anxiety or self-conscious fears surrounding their appearance. They can simply go out onto the dance floor and perform. 

To Create A Healthy Glow

The healthy glow has been touched, but what does it mean to the dancer?

Not everyone likes the appearance of fake tan, but for most ballroom performers, the results of using tanning products make them look healthy, happy, and ready to dance. Without it, they can’t always perform their best.

It Creates Self-Expression

The decision as to whether or not a performer wants to wear tanning products is completely individual. While most ballroom performers opt to wear it, there’s nothing wrong with a dancer’s decision to go against the grain.

In other dancing disciplines, wearing tanning products isn’t the norm. However, it remains popular in Ballroom dance for a reason: tanning isn’t looked down upon or seen as unnecessary but is celebrated in the ballroom community. Feeling great in their skin and costumes is vital to dancers worldwide, and Ballroom gives people every opportunity to celebrate the golden glow.

For Its Scent

Although this isn’t likely to be the sole reason for the use of tanning products, fake tans can evoke pleasant smells, much to the appreciation of the performer and their partner. 

Often sporting scents like coconut and vanilla, a ballroom dancer can find their signature scent by wearing tanning products. 

The Dos and Donts of Tanning for Ballroom Dancing

With Strictly Come Dancing reaching 11 million viewers in the 2021 final, it’s safe to say that the general public understands that where there is ballroom dancing, there is also glitter, sequins, and fake tan. 

But you must know the dos and donts before embarking on the self-tan journey.


Choose the Right Colour

This one might seem obvious, but once it’s on your skin, the tan will take a while to disappear, so you want to ensure you’re confident and comfortable in your colour choice before the tanning products step foot on your skin. Remember, the goal is a golden glow. 

Prepare Your Skin Before You Begin 

It’s vital to prepare your skin to get the best results. Make sure to exfoliate your skin thoroughly and use a tanning product with lots of moisture so that the results last longer.


Always moisturise after applying self-tan to increase longevity and keep your skin healthy. 

Protect Yourself From UV Rays 

While using fake tan eliminates the dangers of using tanning beds, UV rays still pose a threat to your skin. Keep your tan and skin protected by wearing sunscreen whenever you go outside. 


Use Poor-quality Tan

It might seem obvious, but a poor-quality tan will give poor-quality results. Invest in good quality tanning products, so you don’t waste your time or money. 

Overdo It

So don’t apply too much. You want to achieve a glow, not look too orange or streaky.

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