OFF KILTER

Everyone knows the most important part of ballet is achieving the perfect ballet bun — here's how!

Off Kilter's Sarah Murphy-Dyson: "I can do anything now!"

Off Kilter's Sarah Murphy-Dyson: 'I can do anything now!'

When you picture ballerina, how do you imagine their hair? In a bun, right? It's iconic. For Off Kilter star Sarah Murphy-Dyson getting her hair in a bun is both practical — it keeps your hair off your face — and freeing. "I can do anything now," she says after getting her hair up in a bun. In the video below, Murphy-Dyson walks us through her four steps to the perfect ballet bun.

Watch the video:

Our new dance mockumentary series Off Kilter takes you into the ballet world, with all its egos, insecurities and spellbinding moves. Stream the full series now.

Step one: make a ponytail

"The most important thing for a ballet bun is the ponytail," Murphy-Dyson tells us. "Wet hair is good. If it's too wet, it can make it a little bit harder." Twist your elastic around as many times as you can and make it tight. Think it's tight enough? "Pull it even tighter."

Step two: twist it into a spiral

"Twisting your hair around, twist it into a spiral. What I do then is I get it into a spiral and I add one pin." To secure it, Murphy-Dyson suggests instead of just poking the pin straight in, "go away from the centre and then flip it." Check the video to see this flip move!

Step three: secure the bun

While Murphy-Dyson doesn't use a hair net to secure it while rehearsing, she shows us how she would secure it for the stage. Wrap the net around the bun "basically as many times around as you can get it, same as an elastic."

Step four: re-shape the bun

"Then you can reshape your bun — you can make it bigger, make it flatter." How do you flatten it? In the video Murphy-Dyson shows us how to re-shape and flatten the bun with her hand, but a wall also helps! "A wall is really good for flattening it!"

Tell me more about Off Kilter, please!

Off Kilter highlights the less glittery parts of the struggle of going from pariah to revered choreographer. Shot as a mockumentary, each of the seven-minute episodes focuses on a different unofficial — but just as necessary — step in the course of (re)building a career. Season 1 spans "The Denial" to "The Disappearance" and demonstrates how a significant part of the process is doing everything you can to avoid the process. Stream the full series now.

Watch the trailer:

Milton Frank was the ballet world's up-and-comer who never up-and-came. After a massive plagiarism scandal, Milton keeps meaning to make a triumphant return to the world of professional ballet. It's been the next thing on his to-do list for 25 years, in fact. But it's not until his comeback gets intertwined with the agendas of a PR genius and an almost-retired ballerina that any of those intentions start to materialize.

Like many brilliant artists, Milton's struggle is to get over the past and out of his own way. A comedy that lingers in the awkward silences as much as it does on the stunning choreography of the acclaimed Shawn Hounsell (Royal Winnipeg Ballet, National Theatre Ballet - Prague), Off Kilter documents the remaking of a man into the critically acclaimed asshole he never got to be in the 90s.

Watch the first episode:

Episode 1: The Denial

Milton Frank has come back to the studio after a 20-year absence, but under no circumstance is anyone to call it a "comeback." This is just for fun. A lark. A whimsical experiment.

Stream all of Off Kilter now on the CBC Player and watch out for new episodes weekly on our YouTube channel.​

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