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Home > Dance Performance

Stage Makeup Basics

As performers, stage makeup becomes a big part of our onstage image. We can use makeup to accentuate the facial characteristics, or to change a face entirely. Makeup is needed for stage presence and visibility of expression. Here are some tips for on stage dancers:




  • Red nail polish will show up on stage as black…nix the dark nail colors.
  • For general ballet stage makeup; a bright red lipstick is necessary, any other color will get washed out. You can use red glitter on your lips as well.
  • Eyes need to be widened and enlarged in most ballets. The use of false eyelashes is a good way to bring them out; use on top and bottom.
  • spray glitter can be used on hair, it comes out as shine on the stage.
  • Be sure to follow the exact instructions of your choreographer when applying your own makeup. What looks like too much up close, is sometimes not enough for the stage.
  • Makeup needs to be worn to dress rehearsal for lighting and distance review…and for simple practice!

Dancers usually carry quite a makeup kit to performances. It is a good idea to buy all the emergency and preparation items beforehand, to assure everything runs smoothly.

Some items to include are:

    Bobbie pins/hair accessories
    Makeup
    Glitter for hair and body
    Hairspray
    Petroleum jelly for teeth
    Hair curlers and/or hot iron
    Safety pins and sewing kit
    Double stick tape/glue
    Bandaids and ointment
    Copy of the edited stage music for practice
    Extra pair of tights & pointe/jazz/tap shoes




Performers put a lot into their dance preparation, so it’d be silly to have it all go awry over some sort of preparation issue! Stay on top of it and your last minutes back stage can be focused on your choreography instead of your mishaps.





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