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Ballet Talk for Dancers

hairstyles for men/boys


Vision

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Another naive question from me. My son had very short hair last year, which required two seconds of care with a little jell. He's been letting it grow since June, and it is no longer straight and fine, but wavy and thick. It's getting beyond the eyebrow stage.

 

Normally, I would not think of intervening in his personal style. But now, he comes home after a very long day of school and dance, looking a little on the wild side. More jell might make it look less clean. A trim perhaps? With auditions coming up, I would hate for his hair to be a distraction from his dancing.

 

Suggestions from any guys? Is there hair etiquette I don't know about for men? I know for girls, there is much attention to tidy buns and no wisps. How does this translate for guys?

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Victoria Leigh

Vision, I will answer just from a teacher (and auditioner) point of view. I would not want to interfere with a teenage boy's hairstyle, however, if it's in his face in class, flopping over his eyes when he tries to turn, that would be NOT a good thing! :blink: If they must have long hair, fine, as long as it is not in the way. If they don't want to cut it or gel it, then a headband is essential! :unsure:

 

Frankly, I would treat them the same way as I do the female dancers. If they come to an audition unkempt in any way they start out with a couple of strikes against them. Sometimes males seem to think they can do it any way they like, since they are in such strong demand, but I feel that a student who does not look his or her best in an audition is either clueless or careless (and most likely from poor training), unorganized, or has a serious attitude problem. I would not want to work with them and therefore they would not be accepted. I have had females who do not respond to my statement at the beginning that I have a serious problem with hip belts, and that they may wear them on the waist or not at all. If they do not adjust, that is an attitude problem, in my book any way. We don't need that in the summer program....or any other time!

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I concur. It's not so much the unkempt appearance that worries me with hair of anybody, it's a safety issue. A strand of hair can cut the surface of the cornea if the hair whips over the eyes. It doesn't happen very often, but often enough where it's something to think about. Of course, an unkempt appearance also says things to an auditioner, and isn't good.

 

I remember a boy who was talked into having his hair styled for performance. He had the standard "mop-top" of the day, but it was perfectly clean and well-cared-for and didn't get into his eyes when he turned. When I first saw him after the haircut, I could see that TOO MUCH had gone, as he saw it, and he was very unhappy until the hair grew back, except it grew back into a slightly different, attractive and safer form than it had been before. In the interim, he was inconsolable. Poor kid.

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Thank you both; this clarifies the issues for me. My son would go to a dance class or audition bald if that were the expectation! Dance is everything to him, and following expectations has always been far more a priority than vanity. In fact, his hair isn't in his eyes; it starts out neat and controlled, but gains in volume and curl as he leaps and turns. I was concerned that this volume might look disorganized.

 

It is clear that you both are sensitive to the needs of this age group, yet balance this with safety and personality issues.

 

It is also good to know that males might be perceived as having entitlement issues-- and so to be especially careful not to communicate anything that could be misread in this way. This has been extremely helpful.

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We appreciate the feelings of young male dancers, both of us. The kid in question was My Kid Brother, and in the car, (I could drive, he was too young), I encouraged him to vent (although it wasn't called that then). My right shoulder took a lot of pounding, but I like to think it sustained him. (By the way, I just talked to him and he says it's all right to tell the story) He did feel better when he saw a picture of me taken during Basic Training when I had the Ultimate Buzz Cut, and looked like I was preparing to take command of my U-boat. Boy, did we both laugh!

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:angry: Just a quick side note to the issue of boys' hair length - waiting for my son to arrive at airport for Christmas holiday. Finally, passengers start coming down escalator - I'm thinking who is that guy with the long hair, long scarf, Ug boots, etc. - turns out it was my son!! Didn't recognize him for a minute with his new longish hair style. Needless to say, he was off for a trim next day, but not that big of a trim.

 

As for class, I think boys' hair is given more leeway than girls', but definitely not flopping around in their eyes. And definitely not for year-end performance, where AAD walks around and points and says, "Cut", "Cut", "Cut", "One colour" (lol - my son), etc.

 

Happy New Year!

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