“Dancing With the Stars” contestants manage to put their best foot forward despite the glare of lights and millions of live viewers judging their every move.
Also feeling the pressure: the show’s hair-and-makeup team, which has to keep the kinetic performers camera-ready and picture-perfect at all times.
Key makeup artist Zena Shteysel and key hairstylist Mary Guerrero begin prepping each Friday for the next Monday’s telecast. During the performance, the top priority is to keep the talent looking fresh. Every moment the dancers are off camera, they’re re-touched by members of each team. Sweat is blotted, hair is toweled and blow-dried, smears are removed.
One challenge is that the professional dancers who serve as partners to the stars come from the competition circuit, with its use of heavier stage makeup and tightly pulled hair. But such techniques look off-putting on TV.
“As department heads, we’ve had to soften the look and find the balance between the show’s competition and entertainment values,” says Guerrero. And gradually, the pros discovered that the look could be looser “without compromising the classical movements of dance.”