top of page

Recital & Competition Tips & Tricks


Hair styles should always be worn with no bangs and no flyaways.

Buns can be made either with a "sock bun" maker or as a traditional ballerina bun.  Specific "bun pins"  can be purchased in most hair accessory aisles or online.  These pins are wider than normal bobby pins in order to hold more hair.  Buns should always be finished with a bun net to hold all flyaways in place.  

Dancers with extremely short hair (too short to pull into a ponytail or bun) still need to pull hair back from the face and secure loose hair with pins.  Male dancers should follow these guidelines as well.  


Low Ponytail with Ponytail holder

Low Bun

Low Bun from behind, with bun net

All older dancers should be clean-shaven (armpits and legs) even if the costume has sleeves.  Once a dancer is in motion, it can be surprising what shows.  

Older male dancers need to shave both face and armpits.  

Costume Tricks

Recital can be fast paced for dancers in multiple (4 or more) routines.  For some dancers, it may be helpful to "double tight" .  For example, if a student is in a jazz routine (tan tights) and then has to change into ballet (pink tights), they can wear the pink tights under the tan tights.  Then they already have tights on during their costume change.  Some students have been known to "triple tight"  (tan, pink, tan).  

Dancers who are self-conscience or uncomfortable changing costumes may find a beige body suit useful.  This is skin-toned leotard with clear straps that can be worn under costumes to provide modesty covering.

Costumes with tutus should be hung upside down to fluff the tutu material and prevent crushing.  

Hats need to be secured for performances.  Some hats can be held in place with bobby pins.  Lots of bobby pins.  

If a dancer has short or thin hair, then the hat may need to be secured with clear elastic.  1/4 inch clear elastic can be purchased at craft stores and is found in the sewing area near velcro and buttons.  If the hat is fabric, then the elastic can be poked through the material (using a wide eye needle) and tied off.  Harder materials may require the elastic to be secured with hot glue or staples.  

Tap bows are made with pipe cleaner ties and can be placed on the shoes in one of two ways.  If the dancers shoes are not too tight, then the pipe cleaner can be fed through the eyeholes on either side.  If the dancers shoes fit snugly, then the pipe cleaner can be wound around the elastic strap, trimming off excess material.  

Double-sided tape (also called toupee tape or fabric tape) can be used to hold loose costume parts in place.  If the straps of a costume fall off a dancers shoulders, then a piece of toupee tape on each shoulder will secure the straps.  Tape can also be used to hold up a droopy top, prevent a hat from falling down or back, or secure a necklace in place.  



Stage lights are very bright and to prevent dancers from appearing "washed out" makeup is strongly recommended.  Red lipstick, pink blush, mascara and "smoky eye" eyeshadow is standard and goes well with all costumes.  Dancers should not wear any extra jewelry not included with the costume, including earrings (except competition dancers).  

Dancers should not wear any nailpolish, except clear.  Competition dancers should note that judges will deduct points for nailpolish.  

bottom of page