Advice for Perfect Dance Hair
As any dancer will know, your appearance matters. It gives off the first impression that your audience or judges will see, and can also affect your own dancing. Knowing the right style and techniques can give you that extra advantage, and help take your performance to the next level.
Like everything else in dance, dance hair does not magically come together on the day. It takes proper planning, and often some practice, to get it just right. However, just because it takes time and effort does not necessarily mean it is difficult. There are many easy tricks and "hacks" that dancers use to achieve effective and professional looks for their performances and competitions!
While Training in the Studio
1. Always dance with your hair out of your face
Accidents happen when dancers can't see what's going on or where they're going. As such, most studios ask that students ensure that their hair be kept out of their face. Whether you do this by bunning up your hair, or even just doing a half-up hairstyle to ensure your fringe does not get in the way, you should always make sure that it keeps out of your face. Some studios (such as ballet studios) may have stricter requirements for hair, but even if you're just taking an open class or having a fun dance session, tying up your hair is always a good idea.
2. Practice in a style you want to compete/perform in
This doesn't mean doing a full performance/competition hair style for class. It does means that you should consider attending your rehearsals, training and classes in a style that is similar to the one you intend to perform or compete in. If you know you'll be dancing with a bun in a particular position (high/low/ to the side), why not do a simple bun in that same position for practice? This way, you can see how you'll potentially look like when you perform or compete, and can make any necessary adjustments to make yourself look even better.
3. Be considerate to others
Particularly if you dance in close contact with others, be conscious of how your hair might be affecting them. Ponytails and braids may sometimes swish into people's faces, and can even hurt quite a bit when they're being flung around in class. A french or dutch braid, a low ponytail, or a bun are "safer options" that are known to cause less disturbances to those around you.
4. Slick your hair back
A common pet peeve, and a very easily fixed scenario, for many dance teachers and judges is competition dancers who do not slick their hair back. It makes a dancer look messy, unprepared, and unprofessional. Slicking your hair back with hair gel and spray is the easiest way to prepare a professional and neat competition look with little fuss, and takes minimal time and effort to do. Additionally, it prevents you from having to worry about your hair falling out in the middle of the competition/throughout the day.
5. Simple and neat is better than complicated and messy
When in doubt, it is always better to have a simple and neat hairstyle, then try for a more complicated style only for it to look unpolished and messy. There are also many ways to accessorise a simple bun or ponytail to make your look more glamorous. Bejewelled hair pieces, flowers and various other accessories are easily available to turn a simple bun into a stand out hair do.
6. Consider the style of your performance and what hairstyle will compliment it
Different performances aim to convey different stories and emotions, so there are no (or at least, less) hard and fast rules regarding hair. Flirty dances may involve more hairography and require hair to be let down, while jazz and contemporary dances may have specific hair styles best suited for that specific dance. Whatever the case, dancers, teachers and choreographers should plan this in advance so that they can not only practice doing the hairstyle (to minimise any day-of problems), but also make any adjustments to the hairstyle necessary to achieve the perfect look for the performance piece!