The Secret of the Balanchine Bun

The Balanchine bun is also referred to as the Figure 8 bun or the S bun. There are many different versions of this, depending on the individual’s hair type. It is often used by NYCB and other companies performing Balanchine choreography. I recently had to learn this for our performance of the Raymonda Variations, and I think I will use it for class more often now because I like the elongated and flat aesthetic. The best way to learn this bun, as our teacher says, is to twist it one way, then hold up a small mirror behind the head and look in a big mirror to see what you did and how it looks. On most people, it looks like one bun overlapping the other. My friend let me document how she did the bun so that you can see. It is hard to explain, so I highly recommend looking at the pictures below.

1. Brush your hair back into a slick high ponytail, splitting it into two equal pieces. Start to coil the top piece with your right hand.
2. Start to lift the top piece upwards, to the center of the head, and place the left index finger underneath the coil.
3. Lower the coil down.
4. Flip the coil underneath.
5. Use your two index finger to make a circle shape out of the coil.
6. Flatten out the circle.
7. Continue to flatten, stretching the coil out.
8. Hold the bun in place while you pin it and tuck in any loose strands.
9. The top part of the S should now be created.
10. Coil the bottom strand of hair, and tuck your left index finger on top of the coil.
11. Wrap the coil up around your index finger.
12. Tuck the free end of the coil underneath the other part, move it to the left of the head, and place the mini bun flat on the head.
13. Continue to flatten the mini bun.
14. Use both index finger to spread the coils out again.
15. Tuck in any loose strands.
16. Hold down the mini bun with one hand.
17. Pin down the mini bun.
18. Cover with a hairnet, as I did when I tried the bun in myself.

 

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