The bun is the standard ballet class and performance hair style for dancers with longer hair. Learn how to make a simple ballet bun in this short video by teacher Stephanie Smith.
Did you ever wonder why dancers where their hair in a bun? Here are just a few of the most important reasons:
Turning - Dancers need to be able to turn without becoming dizzy or disoriented and use a technique called spotting. Spotting requires the dancer to focus the eyes on a particular marker and snap the head around quickly to find this marker with each turn. Loose hair makes it difficult to see where you're going and, in turn, to maintain a consistent direction. A pony tail does help to secure the hair away from the face, but long pony tails can whip around as the dancer turns and hit her in the face or eyes. A bun keeps the hair secured away from the face and allows the dancer to spot consistently with each turn. Dancers may begin to practice these turning skills as early as 4 years old.
Distraction - Young dancers are often distracted by longer hair. It can get in their eyes and make it difficult to pay attention to the teacher, and often even when in a pony tail, dancers will tend to play with their hair by twisting it around fingers or putting it in their mouths. A bun helps younger dancers to focus on the teachers instructions and on their own dancing. For older dancers, a secure bun allows them to focus on ballet technique without having to readjust their hair after each combination.
Uniformity for performances - Buns are also useful because they can help a group of different dancers look very similar. In ballet companies, the corps de ballet (the group of dancers who are not soloists but instead dance as an ensemble) is often designed to act as a backdrop in which the dancers must look very similar. The bun is a useful hair style to help achieve this effect.