Ballet as well as other styles of dance are challenging enough when you have good vision, but for dancers who need glasses or spectacles, things can get even trickier. While it’s true that you rarely see professional ballerinas performing in glasses as they generally wear contact lenses, young dancers are a different story.
Ballet and other styles of dance are possible to do while wearing glasses, but some steps and styles are harder to perform bespectacled. By securing glasses properly, and choosing the right frames, you can dance in glasses easily.
If you are studying at a serious ballet school, they may have rules in place about wearing glasses for class or performances.
Be sure to ask your teacher what your options are if you need to correct your vision in ballet class. Some of the following tips might be helpful in convincing a teacher that using glasses won’t be a problem!
- Why Dancing Ballet in Glasses Can Be Difficult
- Are Glasses or Contact Lenses Better for Dance?
- Choosing the Right Glasses For Ballet and Dance Class
- SOLUTIONS: How to Dance In Glasses
- How To Secure Glasses While Dancing
- How To Prevent Glasses From Slipping When Dancing
- Can I Wear Glasses In Jazz, Tap, or Hip Hop Dance Classes?
- Top Tip To Make Dancing in Glasses Easier
Why Dancing Ballet in Glasses Can Be Difficult
Taking dance class in glasses can be difficult for a few reasons – sweat causes glasses to slip, turns cause glasses to fly off, and jumps cause glasses to bounce!
Anything additional on your body will add a different, challenging element to your dancing, glasses included.
That’s why dancers are discouraged from wearing dangly jewelry, baggy clothing, and yes, sometimes glasses. For more on what to wear to a ballet class, check out our article here!
Are Glasses or Contact Lenses Better for Dance?
Glasses do not give full coverage for sight, whereas contact lenses do. All people use peripheral vision (the ability to see things beyond your direct line of sight), but dancers rely on it heavily, especially when dancing in groups.
When dancing in glasses, you have to get used to not being able to see as well peripherally. This puts dancers with glasses at a disadvantage when learning traveling steps and turning steps in groups.
Of course, if you or your dancer is severely near or far-sighted, or too young and contacts aren’t an option, there is not much you can do besides make the best of wearing glasses which is why we wrote the articles to help you!
Choosing the Right Glasses For Ballet and Dance Class
When choosing glasses for dance class, there are a few best practices to follow.
1. Dedicate a Pair of Glasses to Dance Class
If you can afford to the best glasses for ballet and dance classes are ones that are dedicated to being worn only in dance classes.
That way, your dancing pair isn’t subject to the general wear and tear of daily use and can be worn for longer.
2. Choose Thin and Lightweight Frames
Choose a pair of glasses with thin, light frames that fit tightly to the face.
Heavy, thick frames are more likely to slip down your nose while dancing and may become uncomfortable.
3. Choose Clear or Light Colored Frames
If you are wearing your glasses for performances, opt for frames that are light in color or clear so as not to distract from the performance and give some uniformity to your look.
4. Use Glare-Resistant Lenses
You will also want to choose lenses that are glare-resistant so that no one in class, including you, is distracted by the reflection of the light against the glasses in the mirror.
SOLUTIONS: How to Dance In Glasses
Wearing glasses when dancing is possible, you just need to know the best solutions to help keep them secure on your face. The following are some tried and tested ideas that you might like to use!
How To Secure Glasses While Dancing
There are a few ways to secure your glasses while dancing in ballet class. You can use one method, or choose to combine forces for the most secure fit.
1.Eye Glasses Anti Slip Hooks
One way is to invest in these nifty glasses hooks that slip onto the temples, directly behind the ears. These products come in a variety of colors, as well as clear so that they are less distracting and blend in with the hair.
2. Eyeglasses Straps
Another option is adding an eyeglasses strap to your frames. This brand from Amazon is barely visible and has no dangling strings to get in the way. Keep the strap tight against your head to secure your glasses.
3. Hair Clips
In a pinch, dancers have been known to use hair clips or bobby pins to secure their glasses directly to their hair, but this only works with very thin frames, and only as a last resort!
How To Prevent Glasses From Slipping When Dancing
Dancers sweat – a lot! Sweat naturally causes issues with slippage when dancing in glasses, so it’s best to find a few options that work for you before your glasses slide off your nose at the barre!
Have Your Glasses Tightened
The easiest way to prevent glasses from slipping is to simply have them tightened. Glasses that get a lot of use stretch over time, and loose glasses will definitely slip off the nose even when you’re not dancing.
Invest in a glasses repair kit like this one to do a quick fix on your own, or visit your eye doctor for a tightening.
Purchase Silicone Nose Pads
Silicone nose pads are another easy way to keep glasses secure on the face when dancing. They come in different thicknesses so you can choose your comfort level.
Most brands come with multiple pairs so you can easily change them out when they lose effectiveness.
Apply Glasses Wax
Glasses wax is a product designed to be applied to the skin on your nose which adds some friction between your skin and your glasses.
You do have to reapply this product fairly often, as sweat does impact its performance, but with a quick swipe between barre and center work, your glasses should stay on during ballet!
Can I Wear Glasses In Jazz, Tap, or Hip Hop Dance Classes?
While these tips mainly focus on ballet class in glasses, the advice given here also applies to dancing jazz, tap, or hip hop in glasses! Yes, you can wear glasses in these styles of dance classes as long as you take measures to keep them on!
Wearing Glasses in Tap Class
Tap class might be the easiest style to adapt to wearing glasses, as there is often less turning and jumping in tap dance. A quick tightening of the arms might be all that is needed to keep glasses secure in tap class.
Wearing Glasses in Hip Hop Class
Dancers studying hip hop will find it difficult to keep glasses secure once they advance to doing the more inverted moves found in breaking, as well as acrobatic elements that require flipping. A glasses strap might be the best choice for dancers wearing glasses in hip hop.
Wearing Glasses in Jazz Class
Jazz dance is the most similar to ballet, but with the acrobatic elements that have evolved into much of jazz dance today, dancers will want to take extra precautions to secure their glasses when working on aerials and difficult turn sequences.
Top Tip To Make Dancing in Glasses Easier
Young dancers who need corrective lenses may naturally gravitate towards wanting to wear contacts as they advance in their training, which may be why you rarely see more advanced dancers wearing glasses in class.
But for those dancers who can’t wear contacts, don’t want to wear contacts, or just prefer their glasses, here is my top tip to make dancing in glasses easier.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
If you or your dancer is new to wearing glasses in ballet class, you will certainly need to get used to wearing them! The more you practice wearing glasses in class, the more natural it will become.
You will learn what works for you – some dancers take their glasses off for practicing turns, opting to trust their muscle memory to get them around safely, while others keep them on and use security aids like straps or hooks to keep glasses in place.
If you choose to take your glasses off for a portion of class, be sure to find a safe place to store them so they won’t get trampled in petit allegro! Etsy has some lovely ballet-themed glasses cases, and this Degas-themed case from Amazon is right up every ballerina’s alley!
As you can see, there are many ways to make dancing in glasses a bit easier. From security aids to simple tightening, you are sure to find the method that works for you or your dancer.