Hazardous Hair! A Ballroom Dancing Danger…
I never considered my long hair to be hazardous until I started ballroom dancing. As a solo artist, doing head flips and tight turns with loose hair is a fun way to create dramatic movement accents. In a worse case scenario, hair might end up in the face to which dance movement can be adjusted or the stragglers can be easily swept back into place. When dancing in close proximity of a partner, the game changes. Those taking social dance quickly learn about the side effect of getting hair in their face, mouth and, more painfully, in their eyes. Below find a few tips and tricks for dancing safely with lavish layers of hair.
Long and Loose
If your hair is long enough, the weight of the hair may keep it from flying high into a partners face. There is something to be said for “hair-ography” and the look of flowing hair on a dancer. If your hair is past your collarbone, this might be a viable option. The only way to know for sure is to try it out. Bring an extra hair tie to the dance floor in case your free flyaways become frightening.
While French-braided hair that is close to the head may be a feasible option, long loose braids can act as whips maiming partners and surrounding couples.
Half and Half
Have the best of both worlds. Rock the look of loose hair while keeping it under control. Tie up the top half of your hair securely and let the bottom half hang down. Add a hair bump on top of your hair for style and to pull bone structure visually upward. Curling, scrunching, or crimping can add volume to the hair that’s hanging.
Tied Up and Tamed
A bun or ponytail will offer an easy solution to pulling hair out of the way. Consider using a light gel to keep hair smooth and tame frizz. Experiment with different heights for your bun or ponytail. In general, a lower ponytail will keep your partner from getting whipped in the eyes on a quick turn. I also recommend that buns be placed lower on the head. If you have a lot of hair, a high bun will get in the way of head loops and other moves that are led over the back of the head.
Pretty and Professional
If you’re looking for a more professional look, there are a lot of online tutorials to help achieve ballroom competition hair. All the competition hair I’ve seen looks like an immovable and pretty helmet, efficiently taming hazardous hair. While it may be a little over the top to do full out competition hair for a night out of social dancing, it’s a great excuse to experiment and practice creating a danceable do. Decide on a game plan and what kind of look you want to create before diving in. You’ll likely need to invest in some products, which may include hair gel, a fine comb, freezing hairspray, pins, hair jewels, appliques, flowers, hairnets, and hair ties. Tight buns and swirled hair designs are very popular and can be achieved at home. Here one dancer offers a basic bun with hair waves tutorial:
Best of luck defusing distracting hairdos and happy dancing!
Article by Bella Ballroom instructor, Ziva.