Hair & Makeup

Hair & Make-Up


All ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, tap, and acro dancers must wear hair parted on the left and gathered securely in a low bun. Begin with slightly damp hair:  Work in enough hair gel that the roots and the ends are fairly saturated.  The purpose of gel near the hairline is to keep wisps (baby hairs) down.  When wisps are not gelled down the stage lights will illuminate them, creating a ‘lion’ look.  Gel at the ends of the hair is necessary to further aid in cementing the bun to the head.  If a bun begins to flop around on stage the audience will be distracted.  Create a part directly above your child’s left eye, comb the hair so it lays flat, and secure it in a low ponytail with a no-slip rubber band.  (Goody and Scunci make no-slip rubber bands, and are available at any drug store.)  A low pony means as low as possible, or exactly where the hairline meets the neck.  Twist the hair as you wrap it around the base of the ponytail.  Use large bobby pins for anchoring, and smaller bobby pins for details (the smaller pieces of hair that pop out).  This will be a major process if your child’s hair is layered.  Once it’s nearly in place and looking like it should, wrap a hair net around the entire bun.  You will need to fold it over and encase the bun numerous times until there is no net left.  Finish by securing a few more bobby pins in the bun.  Be sure you have purchased bobby pins and hair nets that match your child’s hair color.  Hip Hop dancers may wear their hair in any style that does not distract.  Hats or head bandanas must be secured with pins.  Dancers transitioning from a ballet to a hip hop dance may wear hair pieces pinned to their bun, but they must be very secure.  NOTE: If you have purchased fake hair to add to a bun for quick changes into tap or hip hop be certain the fake hair is SECURE.  Do not let your child be the one whose fake hair gets kicked around the stage!

Stage Make-Up:

Brown shadow, black mascara, rose-colored blush, deep rose or wine-colored lipstick, a matching wine lip liner:  Stage make up will look heavier than everyday make up because stage lighting is brighter than everyday light.  The goal of stage make-up is to prevent the kids from looking washed out.  Make-up is part of the performance process, and not unique to our studio.  If you are concerned about your child wearing make-up please contact me directly,  Use base and powder that match your child’s skin tone.  Very young dancers need not use base, though it does make blush and eye shadow application much easier.  Apply the base to the entire face, including lips and eyelids.  Do the same with the powder.  Apply blush to the apples of the cheeks and blend well.  (Have your child smile and the fullness that is created or “apple” is where the blush should primarily go.  This will create a look that is achieved naturally when the face is flushed from exercise.  Blend the edges so you have not created a doll-face.)  Blush should be a deep pink or rose color.  Avoid browns or orangey pinks.  

Put a darkish brown eye shadow over the entire lid and in the crease. (Older dancers may attempt a more dramatic eye: Black eye liner (for the upper lid) should begin lightly at the inner corner and extend VERY SLIGHTLY beyond the outer corner of the eye, angled up toward the end of the brow.  You can add a bit of black eye shadow to the wing to blend it into the brown of the lid.  Add a touch of silver or very light blue to the inner part of the lid.)  Use an eyelash curler if your child’s lashes are long, and add numerous coats of mascara. 

Lipstick and lip liner are the most vital elements of stage make up.  To apply, dab on a small amount of lipstick to ‘wet’ lips, line the lips with the liner and, again with liner, completely fill them in.  (Sometimes you may have to draw on your hand with the liner to get it started.)  Apply more lipstick to the top and blot.  Be sure to reapply lipstick after eating and just before performing.  BIG HINT: Do the lipstick after the costume is on, especially if you must put it on over your dancer’s head. 

We strongly suggest you practice doing a bun and applying stage make-up before your child’s In-House Dress Rehearsal day.