Can You Do Ballet With Glasses? (Explained for Beginners)

When we think of a ballerina or ballerino on stage, we don’t usually picture them with a pair of glasses on. So, what does that mean for those professional dancers that can’t see very well? Since ballet is all about clean lines, fluid movement, and a visual representation of flawless music, can you do ballet with glasses? We are here to answer this question and provide insights on the topic.

It is possible to do ballet with glasses; however, most teachers recommend using glasses in class and contacts for performances. To secure glasses to your face while dancing, consider having a lightweight frame that fits snuggly. You could also use tape, hair clips, or a glasses hook.  

Ballet dancers must usually have good eyesight for practice and performance. So, if your eyesight isn’t particularly strong, is it possible to do ballet with your glasses? There are a few views on the subject, but we have sifted through the views to find the facts and overriding consensus. Join us as we twirl into the world of ballet class and find the answers for you.

Can You Do Ballet With Glasses

Can You Do Ballet With Glasses?

Taken at face value, if you’ll excuse the pun, it is possible to do ballet with glasses on. 

It is vital that you can see your teacher, fellow dancers, the barre, and your dancing space in a ballet class. It is even beneficial to see yourself in the mirror if there is one since you can correct your own flaws as soon as you see them.

For dancers with extremely little or no sight, ballet lessons are centered around feeling the movements and learning in a tactile fashion. Still, for those with limited sight, glasses are likely needed.

Erina Vale, a ballet dancer of over twenty years, is nearsighted and wears glasses for ballet class. 

She recommends keeping a pair of glasses specifically for ballet. Her “ballet glasses” have lightweight frames that are transparent, and she ensures that they fit snuggly to her face. By keeping her “ballet glasses” separate from her everyday glasses, she can maintain their tight fit, which helps keep them on while dancing.

For most ballet schools, glasses are allowed in class, but not typically for performance. As dancers mature and become closer to a professional standard, they are expected to resemble professional ballet dancers. While it is perfectly acceptable for young children to wear glasses on stage or for performances, it is not acceptable for a professional dancer.

The reason glasses are not usually permitted at a professional ballet level is because of uniformity. 

Glasses can cause a glare or reflections from the stage lights. They can fall off the dancer’s head while dancing. Since they are visible, they can cause a distraction from the overall appearance and feel of the ballet performance.

If you are not yet professional and need to wear glasses for a ballet performance, consider using glasses with a transparent, lightweight frame and plastic lenses, to avoid being noticed too much. 

If you are able, try to use contact lenses for performances to avoid having your glasses cause a distraction from the overall ballet.

How Can I Keep My Glasses From Falling Off While Dancing?

One of the main concerns when wearing glasses during ballet class is that they will fall off. Did you know that ballet dancers can spin at the rate of 0.5 seconds per pirouette? That is quick and can result in your glasses coming off mid-turn.  

Other moves that could pose a threat to your glasses include sautéing, jeté, fouetté, and more. For all of these, dancers have been known to hold on to their glasses with one hand while performing the steps in class.

If you need to wear glasses in ballet class, it is helpful to secure them to your head to avoid holding them on while dancing. Consider having a pair of tight-fitting glasses specifically for ballet class. 

Try to use glasses that have light frames to assist in keeping them on. Having a pair that you use only for ballet class will help keep them tight, avoiding the day-to-day stretching that typically occurs with glasses.

Other methods you can try include using tape, hair clips, or a string around your neck. You could search Amazon for a clear silicone anti-slip glasses hook. These are relatively inexpensive and have been known to work well, though you may need to extend the hold a little, to allow your glasses’ temples through.

Can Professional Ballet Dancers Wear Glasses?

Ballet teacher at Forté Dance Academy, Lindsay Da Silva, shared that wearing glasses is not permitted on stage at a professional level. While it is acceptable to wear them during rehearsal, dancers in performance need to be entirely in uniform with each other.

Glasses are noticeable from the stage and often reflect the stage lights. This can cause a distraction for other dancers and audience members who would prefer to be watching the performance in its entirety.

Professional ballet dancers often swap between contact lenses and glasses. They may rehearse wearing glasses and swap to using contact lenses for the dress rehearsal and performance. Since the feeling is quite different, it is helpful to have at least one practice using contact lenses before the concert, to ensure that you are confident.

Suppose a professional ballet dancer cannot wear contact lenses. In that case, they may need to go without any vision correction for the performance duration. If this is the case, and their eyesight is particularly poor, it is good to rehearse on the stage without glasses. Rehearsing like this will enable the dancer to learn the spacing of the other dancers, the edge of the stage, and the wings.

Pros And Cons Of Doing Ballet With Glasses

Since so many ballet students and dancers have eyesight problems, doing ballet with glasses may be the only way to reach your dreams of being a ballet dancer. Still, there are pros and cons to wearing glasses while you dance, and we have selected five pros and five cons for you.

Pros Of Doing Ballet With Glasses

  • You can clearly see what your ballet teacher shows you
  • You can see your own faults in the mirror
  • You can judge the distance between you and other dancers
  • You have a clear understanding of your dancing space
  • You can make eye contact with fellow dancers, partners, and the teacher for subtle visual cues

Cons Of Doing Ballet With Glasses

  • As you sweat, glasses become slippery and slide or slip off
  • Keeping glasses securely fitted to your head can be challenging
  • In performance, you look slightly different from the other dancers
  • Stage lights can cause glare off your glasses during a performance
  • As you perform high-intensity steps, your glasses can fall off and break

Conclusion

It is possible to do ballet with glasses. For young children and in class, glasses are usually permitted. They can be of great assistance when watching the teacher demonstrate moves, directions, and angles. If you need to wear glasses, be sure to secure them to your head before ballet class to avoid having them fall off and possibly break.

Glasses are not allowed to be worn by professional ballet dancers during performances. In a professional ballet performance, all dancers need to look uniform. There should ideally be nothing to distract the audience from the show. Since glasses sometimes reflect the stage lights and have frames that the audience can see, they are considered a distraction.

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