While we wouldn’t recommend it for your ballet class, learning to dance with your hair down is an important skill for the modern day dancer. No matter what style you grew up dancing in, your teacher surely made you put your hair up in a bun or tie it back in a ponytail. Although keeping your hair out of your face was important as you first learned to pirouette, time step, or jazz run, pulled-back hair is uncommon in much of professional dance today. Whether in music videos, live concerts, or even on the contemporary Broadway stage, choreographers are encouraging dancers to literally let their hair down. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy! “Hairography” is a skill all it’s own…and we’ve come up with five tips on how you can master it.
Don’t blind yourself
To keep your hair out of your eyes use a long elastic headband, pull some of your hair into a hip topknot, French braid the hair along your forehead, or take two one-inch pieces of face-framing hair and tie a tiny ponytail at the base of your neck under the rest of your hair.
Find your style
Every dancer’s hair is different. Whether you’ve got pin-straight or coiled and curly locks, experiment with different hairstyles to find out what works best for you. Remember that you might need a little extra hairspray to keep your style intact while you’re dancing. Also, keep your outfit choice in mind. When you find the perfect outfit to match your hair, you’ll shine.
Use dry shampoo
Not only will a few spritzes of dry shampoo tame your mane after a sweaty dance class or audition, but it’ll also add some volume to your roots.
Whether you’re watching Beyonce’s back-up gals, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, or a clip from Broadway’s HAMILTON, take a look at how these professional dancers work their hairography. Get a feel for how hairography can enhance your performance instead of distracting from it.
Practice, practice, practice
Hairography is no joke. Whether you’re turning, kicking, or leaping, remember that the movement of your hair is part of the dance. Practice your hairography within the choreography so you never get caught looking like “Cousin It!”
***Because many studios still enforce dress codes, remember to always ask permission before dancing in class with your hair down.