Go Beyond the Ballet Bun: 4 Hairstyles Perfect for Dance

By Nichelle Strzepek

It’s symmetrical, it keeps hair out of your eyes, and it stays put. Let’s face it, there’s a reason why the bun (high, low, messy or braided) is the go-to coif of dancers everywhere. If you’re a ballet dancer, a bun may be required, but if not, there are plenty of dance hairstyles that you can sport. Here are some functional options for all types of hair:

Modern French Braid

You are probably familiar with French braiding, a process that involves gradually adding hair to a three-strand plait. The classic, straight down the middle variation may have disappeared in the ’80s with tight-rolled pants and puffy bangs but, French braids haven’t gone away entirely.

For an updated look, begin your braid off-center at the forehead and follow the hairline in a wrap-around style that’s pretty and stylish. Alternatively, try a lace braid across the top of your head like a headband. A lace braid is simply a French braid that adds hair from only one side, in this case from the hairline.

Or, turn your head over and braid from your nape to crown, finishing off with a knot on top. Yes, it’s still a bun, but the French braid adds a little ‘ooh la-la.’

 

Bantu (Zulu) Knots

This twisty style, which originated with the tribes of southern Africa, is fun and funky. The number of knots and their placement will vary depending on preference as well as the texture and density of your hair.

In general, to create this style, divide your hair into small sections. Twist each section of hair until it curls into a knot or wrap it like a little bun. Secure each knot with bobby pins or a hair band. Traditionally, many knots are placed neatly all over the head but feel free to experiment with messy knots or a less-is-more approach. If your hair is too short for knots but long enough to twist into one pinwheel, try pin curls instead.

 

Ponytail Veil

Dancers with fine hair are likely to lose or loosen a single ponytail at every turn, but there is power in numbers. Create lattice-like, “climbing” ponytails that act like a headband instead.

Divide the hair across the front of your head into several small sections. Secure each section with plastic-coated rubber bands, all the way across. Divide each of these small ponytails into two strands and combine each half with half of the ponytail next to it, securing it with a rubber band into a new ponytail. Don’t divide the ones at the ends of the row; gather the whole thing into the nearest ponytail half. Divide another row of ponytails like you did at first but, this time, include two halves from the existing ponytails on either side and secure the three parts into one. Again, do this all the way across.

From here, you can stop for a half-up hairdo, keep going, or finish it off into one ponytail, pigtails, or, you guessed it, a bun or two!

 

Rockettes French Twist

Photo Credit: Benjamin Stone/POPSUGAR

Photo Credit: Benjamin Stone/POPSUGAR

Last but not least, we have the Rockettes very own signature look they use for every show—the French twist! It maybe hard to master but once you get the hang of it, it’s as easy as un, deux, trios! POPSUGAR did a step-by-step with two Rockettes on how to master the French Twist. Check it out!