Arthur Murray is your connection for dance classes. We teach just about every type of dance you can think of, from the cha cha and the jitterbug to the sophisticated waltz. Many people start dance lessons with the dream of participating in a dance competition, and this can bring up images in their minds. When people think of ballroom dance, they might hear the music in their heads, but in their minds, they see the costumes and the grooming. We all know that dance classes, casual practice, and intense rehearsal call for levels of casual dancewear and grooming are minimal, but when it comes to actual competition we up our game in clothing and grooming. For our purposes, grooming will include hair, tans, nails, eyebrows, makeup, and personal hygiene. This week, we will cover and hair, makeup, and tans and makeup and personal hygiene in the next blog.  


  • When it comes to dancing competition, the saying about hair is “not one loose strand.”
  • You need to wear your hair in a tight bun on top of your head. If you wet your hair down or use a product such as gel to make the bun, it will be easier to wrangle loose hairs than if you put your hair up when it’s dry.
  • Make sure you have twice the number of bobby pins you think you need and have various sizes.
  • Extra hold hairspray can help get those last hairs in place. As you get more experienced and attend more competition and social dances, you will see variations on the bun that you’ll want to try, and that’s fine, but start off simple so you can focus on the dancing.
  • If you have short hair, you can have it cut into an easily slicked back style such as a pixie to achieve a great look. Look at other dancers’ hair for inspiration.


  • Tans are to ballroom dancing as big hair is to 80’s heavy metal, you just can’t picture one without the other.
  • Tans serves a couple of purposes in ballroom dance. For one, it’s part of the culture, part the costume. Secondly, it helps bodies look toned and when you are in a skimpy dress or open front shirt, most dances agree that they can use all the help they can get to look toned all over.
  • You want your skin to look great for a long time, not just one competition, so skip the beach and the tanning lotion and embrace the fake tan. You can try a spray tan or self-tanning lotions. Try them out *before* your first competition so you are not left dealing with an emergency when you should be focusing on your dance moves.  


  • Your eyebrows are an important part of your makeup to achieve the ballroom look you are after. Ballroom makeup is theatrical makeup. You want to be seen from across the dance floor.
  • Your eyebrows need to be arched and well-shaped. Get the name of a good waxer from someone at your dance studio and use them. You can maintain the shape yourself.
  • You can use foundation and highlight makeup just under your brow to help accentuate them.
  • Use a brown or black eyebrow pencil and eyeshadow to thicken them if they are too thin, to darken light eyebrows and to elongate them to a point at the outside.
  • The inside point of your brow should match up with the side of your nostril. Imagine a line going up from the outside of your nostril and start your brow there. The arch of the brow should be in line with this same point on your nose and your pupil. Imagine a line going through these two points and where it meets your eyebrow is where the arch should be. To find where the outside of your brow should be, begin again, with the same point on your nostril and take that to the outside point of your eye and then up to your brown.  For the competition, you can extend the brow a bit beyond this point for a dramatic flair.

Check back next week when we cover makeup and hygiene. For more information on dance classes, call Arthur Murray Dance Studio.