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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Curling hair for Nutcracker Clara


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conair makes a sponge/rag roller (they are white and right next to the sponge rollers at Target) that are wonderful.

when the hair is still damp, divide int 3-4 sections horizontally across the back and then divide those sections into ribbons. spray each ribbon with a pump type spray or aussie scrunch and roll. these rollers are easy to sleep on and give excellent results.

prior to the performance, remove rollers, shake hair, pull up into a 1/2 pony and spray

after the performace, reroll if there is a performance the next day.

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Then we use the "got2B curled" green goop.


This stuff is really awesome! We did a practice run on my daughter last night. We used the "purple rollers" (small, but not the really tiny ones) and the only got2B product I could find which was an orange spray called "curl booster". Basically, I spritzed, combed through, rolled, spritzed again over the whole head. I set it with a blow dryer for a few minutes, put a cap over it all and she went to sleep in them. There were a couple that were still damp this morning, but that can be fixed because there will be more time between curling (bedtime) and taking them out on performance day. The curls were just awesome. The only problem were rolling errors by mom--mental note--buy curling papers so there are no strange ends! :green:


We don't have to be "real" until the 17th, but she is riding on the back of a convertible in a Christmas parade on Saturday morning. I think we'll try another practice run tomorrow night, but this time doing what my hairdresser suggested. Since our AD wants her hair to be partially down and partially up (we are only doing Act 2, so a softer bedtime look), my hairdresser suggested we pull her hair up into a ponytail and then curl the ponytail in very small sections. I think we'll try that Friday night for Saturday morning's parade and see what we think. I can always get out the curling iron if I have to Saturday morning if it isn't decent!




I also accidently discovered that if you just unsnap and pull the plastic rods out of the foam rollers before you try to unroll the curls from the foam, you can avoid snarling the curl and you can pull the ringlet down much more smoothly--the foam roller just stays there till you gently pull it from the bottom down.


What a great tip...especially since I snarled my daughter's hair occasionally this morning in pull-out. Thanks!

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Thanks to everyone for posting so many valuable bits. We had a run at this last weekend and the curls were flawless, stayed without touch up for twelve solid hours (she performed during the morning and again that afternoon) and washed out without snags or knots.


Our dd has thick wavy hair. The day before rolling it, she skipped washing her hair (much to my chagrin, however it does help when the hair sets as you've all pointed out). The next day she was due to rehearse so she conditioned her hair and put it up in a bun. By the end of that day, and due to the thickness of her hair, it was still slightly damp. We used a strong hold gel and flexible rollers (the type on which the hair is rolled on half of the roller and the other half is folded in against it - sold at beauty supply stores). I think that the conditioner protected her hair from becoming too sticky with the addition of the gel and later resulted in easy washing. We applied a very small amount of gel so that the pieces were still slighly damp (too much saturation would probably have resulted in the curls not setting well and turning out damp and droopy the next day) and then rolled each section using as many rollers as needed. We finished off with a hair net over the rollers to capture all of them and keep them from hanging (just a standard net used for a bun). She looked like a cross between Shirley Temple and Medusa. I removed the net right before she went to sleep and gave it all a quick, light spritz of light hold hairspray and replaced the net for the night (which went fine). The next morning I lightly sprayed it again and an hour later removed the rollers. They were easy to remove and the curls looked natural. The one item I'd forgotten to buy was a pack of perm rod papers. I was surprised that the ends of her hair were set well but the rolling process would have been easier with the papers to keep the ends together.


I have a new question for all of you:


Should I soak the rollers to remove any gel residue before using them again? I'm just wondering if the residue may affect the next go at this and if it will impact the longevity of the rollers.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This may come a little too late for this year......maybe for next year? When my daughter was party, we used a product called Formatta-sp? You get it at beauty supply stores. It's a spray and it smells awefull. However, it is the king of hold. I had to spray dry hair, small sections at a time, and set it with the sponge hot rollers. The spiked hot rollers weren't as good. We did this a few hours before the shows. She wore the rollers until right before the show. They were taken out back stage. Just unravel them gently and form the curl individually with your fingers and spray, spray, spray. Our AD doesn't allow hairpieces etc. This has pretty much become the practice of anyone in party scene now. Kind of like tradition.

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I just have to report that my daughter's curls were beautiful. Thanks to everyone who gave great suggestions. She looked a little like Shirley Temple when we first pulled the curlers out right before warm-up, but by the time the show started (and dress rehearsal the day before), they were beautiful, perfect ringlets. She hated it, but it looked so beautiful from the audience! Nutcracker is now over---maybe we can get some sleep in our house! :-)

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Knock, Knock. I know this is a little late, I wish I had seen this thread earlier.

We don't really have the Nutcracker tradition in Australia but for some other performances my daughters had to have curls. The youngest has dead straight,

long heavy hair. The only way I could get curls to hold was for her hair to be washed the night before, squeeze excess water out then section hair. Using a tail comb and super hold mousse, saturate each section and wind small sections onto bendy rollers. Shortly before a performance I would unwind each section, reroll around my fingers and spray ALOT of super hold hair spray on each ringlet. Her hair was like wood shavings and the curls would last through those few minutes on stage.

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I AM SO GLAD THIS IS OVER UNTIL NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!!! And I'm throwing out the rollers, not washing them. Bought 'em at the dollar store and am more than willing to reinvest $3 next fall!

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  • 8 years later...

Pillow case rag curls have been the best for my Little Clara/Nutcracker party scene. Rip pillowcases into strips. Take dry hair into 5 or 6 sections. Spray gel of mousse. Not too much. Have DD hold a 5 inch or so piece of fabric at scalp. She can Stretch the fabric like a thera band and parent can gently wrap hair section around the fabric. Tie rubberband at bottom and wrap fabric back out to scalp. Tie two end in a knot. Sleep with a satin night cap and take out in am. Pull apart the big curls to have more. Takes less than 10 mins and is gorgeous.

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Question is: How to get from Clara party scene curls to 2nd Act ballet bun back to party scene curls for finale??

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We just lightly pulled Dd's ringlets into a ponytail, used the ponytail holders with the beads to lightly hold the ponytail, gently scrunched it into a hairnet, shaped the hairnet into a bun shape and pinned.

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How fast do you have to do it? The girls in our performance will do a ponytail, pin the curls in place, and place a hairnet over it to make it look like a bun.

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