ILKLEY  DANCE  CENTRE

" The happiest school in town! "


Neat hairstyles & grooming are an 

essential part of the discipline of dance

and help children and students

take pride in themselves and their performance.


You will need:

  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Hair elastic/bobbles
  • Hair nets
  • U-shaped hairpins
  • Kirbigrips
  • Hair gel
  • Hairspray

It is best not  to have freshly washed hair! 

You may want to dampen the hair 

to start with as it gives better control.  

How to create a Ballet Bun

1)   Brush hair and gather back. Apply some hair gel and smooth out rough or uneven areas with the brush. Form a high ponytail by brushing hair up from the jawline to top part of the back of the head.

2)   Use a hair elastic to secure the ponytail. The tighter the ponytail the better the end result will be.

3)   It is optional to plait the ponytail, and secure with another hair elastic. This way makes it a bit easier to create the bun, and is a useful way of doing it without a hairnet.

4)   Twist the ponytail or plait, applying more gel or water if necessary, and coil into a tight circle pressed on the back of the head.

5)   Use a few U-shaped hairpins all around the coil/circle to secure it to the rest of the hair. Slide each pin through the outer part of the circle, then turn into the base of the bun.

6)   Wrap the hairnet around the bun, it will be large enough to go over the bun several times. Keep twisting and wrapping so that the hair net secures the bun tightly.

7)   Use a few more hairpins to secure the hairnet over the bun.

8)   Spray with hairspray if necessary for extra hold. Use kirbigrips to secure fringes and wispy bits of hair back from the face, and if necessary, wear a headband to keep hair back.

Royal Ballet style: plaits across head

1)   Brush hair and gather back. Apply some hair gel and smooth out rough or uneven areas with the brush.

2)   Using a comb to draw a straight line, split the hair all the way from the front of the head to the nape of the neck, to create equal two sides.

3)   Form one bunch at a time by brushing the hair up from the jawline to the side of the head.

4)   Use a hair elastic to secure each bunch. The tighter the bunches the better the end result will be.

5)   Plait each bunch, and secure with another hair elastic.

6)   Take one plait in each hand and tie them together as if you were tying a knot and press firmly on the back of the head. Ask your daughter to hold the "knot" while you start pinning! The end of the right plait should lie next to the base of the left, and vice versa, so each plait goes right across the head.

7)   Use a few U-shaped hairpins all around the base of each plait to secure each plait end. Slide each pin through the outer part of the plait, then turn into the centre.

8)   If plaits are long, you may need to double back again and take them across one more time. Cover with bun net if necessary and spray with hairspray.

French Plaits are required for exams and shows; it is the neatest hairstyle that stays in successfully 

throughout the most vigorous class, exam or performance! 

It is also the best hairstyle for pinning on headdresses, ribbons etc.

How to create a French plait:

Start with a small amount of hair, i.e. just do one side, or practise with one section, using a large clip or hair elastic to keep the rest of the hair out of the way. You will feel as if you need another pair of hands! So if you do a small section first it will be easier.....

1)   Brush the hair back, and split into three parts, as for a normal plait.

2)   Start the plait as usual, bringing the right piece over the middle, then the left. Pull the hair as tight as possible.

3)   The second time you bring the right piece over the middle, bring another small amount of hair with it, and the same with the left. Keep the hair pulled as tight as possible, to create the neatest plait.

4)   Keep adding a small section of hair each time you plait, until you have gone all the way down the back of the head.

5)   At the bottom you just keep plaiting as normal, and secure with a hair elastic/bobble.

6)   Sometimes the plait(s) can then be made into a bun, or can be tied together and pinned underneath, depending on exam/costume requirements. 

French plaits need practising, and the best way to learn is just by doing it.........

Nearly all of the older students can do excellent French plaits having learnt from each other and from some of the mums.

If you would like to learn, please just ask your class teacher, and we will point you in the direction of a willing student or parent