Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Ballerina Bun

One very important part of the ballerina "look" is found the top of their head...otherwise known as a bun.  This bun is different from the stylish up-do that you see on the red carpet or the messy bun that is perfect for when you are running late for school.  A ballet bun is tight like the clothes they used to wear in the 70's, and let me just say, they are just as uncomfortable as the disco pants.  But, this post isn't about how a bun compares to older styles, but the mechanics, tips, and the effect a bun has on a dancer.

The three critical points in having the best bun possible are:  1. It is just about impossible to have a smooth ponytail with clean, dry hair. 2. Bobby pins and hairspray are vital. 3. Flat and big is ideal; you don't want to have a baseball sitting on your head.  A bun may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is.  When you are having a bad hair day, it throws you off and distracts you throughout class.  To avoid this, I do my hair when it's wet or when it's not freshly washed and then spray it with water.  This helps to get all my hair going in one direction and to have more of a grip.  

To start, I slick my hair back in a ponytail at the crown of my head and secure with an elastic.  Now this is where you can have some fun.  Doing the same style bun over and over isn't too exciting, so I enjoy finding new ways to do my bun.  You can look through these videos on YouTube to see different bun techniques.  Once you have secured your bun with your never-ending supply of bobby pins, you are ready for the glue.  Glue, a.k.a. hairspray, holds down all those baby hairs that like to stick straight up off your head.  When I have a important rehearsal, audition, or performance, I can never use too much hairspray.  At the end of the day, I've got a hemet made of hairspray.  You can always add little flowers, bows, headbands, etc., but a "slicked back bun"is the most classic and simple way to style your hair.
Less classical bun, but cool! (credits to
Like the quote "what separates the men from the boys," you can get a slight idea of the kind of ballet dancer someone is by their hair.  Someone who has a bun that you can tell obviously took time and practice may be a more dedicated dancer.  While someone who shows up with a frizzy and loose bun, may not be as determined to be "like the pros."  There are those too, who show up with a "doorknob" on top of their head, which may mean they are a beginner or less experienced dancer. Of course, this doesn't apply to every situation, it just shows that bun can say a lot about a ballerina and really is an important part of this art.


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