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Ballet Talk for Dancers



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I've seen discussions regarding the wearing of glasses in ballet class, but couldn't find anything with my specific question; I apologize if this is duplicative.


My DD is slightly nearsighted. She started wearing glasses this year and wears them to school, to read, to watch TV. She does not dance with her glasses. She noted that she gets corrections in class on strengthening and focusing her spotting and sometimes falls out of turns. I am wondering if there is a relationship between vision and spotting. Does it matter whether the dancer actually sees what she is spotting vs just spotting that location. Does crisp vision bring crisp dancing? She hasn't felt hindered in class due to vision but I am wondering if it is impacting her even though she doesn't realize it. I am happy to look into contact lenses for her, but she is not that interested in them unless/until her dancing needs mandate it.



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I have a friend whose 18yo dd got lasik (for what I'm assuming is far worse problems!) and now enjoys being able to turn sooo much easier as a result of being able to spot better.

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DD started wearing contacts two years ago at 11, and has said that they made a huge difference in her dancing (yes, spotting, but also being able to actually see the teacher!)

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Thanks. Its clear that contacts are better for dancing than glasses and as I think about it more, its pretty obvious that actually being able to see must be better for dancing that not being able to see. But in my DD's case, she still can see (she has a very weak prescription) and its really only turning that she's stuggling with, so I thought I'd throw it out there. I'm still on the fence as to whether this was a valid or stupid question, so thanks for all your kind input and for not calling me names! :)

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A somewhat related question - do you know if SI auditioners have a tendency to steer away from girls who wear glasses? My DD can't wear contacts, at least not yet.

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I have noticed that children who wear glasses while dancing develop technique "tics", which is the best way I can describe it. They are typically too close to the barre; have more trouble with head movements and port de bras, and more issues with anything that turns.


So, will an auditioner see the glasses and automatically say, "No"? I don't think so, but what they respond to is the subtle differences between those who wear glasses, and those who don't. Not that it hasn't happened, but I haven't yet seen a dancer who wears glasses without those tics.

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So at what age does this start to matter? My younger dd does wear glasses, and has mentioned that she would be scared of getting contacts.

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Whenever they start to develop the habits. Check with your child's teacher to see if these things are noticeable.


If a child is actually scared of getting contacts, then by all means, she should continue to wear her glasses until she is the one begging for contacts. After all, ballet is ballet, but she needs her eyes for life.


I recently found that I must wear glasses too, but I cannot dance in them. I noticed a significant difference in how I held my head and saw within myself the same issues I see in younger ones.

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What issues should be watched for? Or is that something the instructor will already be aware of and be watching for?

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I can't speak for all teachers.... you'll have to have a chat with yours to see if glasses are a factor in her progress.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Both of my daughters wear contacts when dancing. My oldest started wearing glasses when she was in 3rd grade and she started wearing contacts in 6th grade. I suggested she get contacts because every time she would bend over, she would hold her head parallel to the floor so that the glasses would not slip off! She did not "get her turns" until she started wearing contacts. No pun intended, but hindsight is 20/20! I wish we would not have made her wait to get them. She was more than willing to get them when we allowed her to. Her technique improved tremendously as soon as she started wearing contacts.


With my younger daughter, she started wearing glasses when she was in 4th grade. Her perscription was not as bad as older DD's, so she just didn't wear them in ballet. But then, she noticed she couldn't see the combinations as well. We got her contacts as soon as she requested them. I asked the eye doctor about readiness and he basically said the child is ready whenever they ask for them.


My DDs only wear them to dance. They wear the daily disposables so that they do not need to worry about storage or cleaning. My oldest used to wear the 2 week type but got numerous eye infections when she started wearing mascara every day.



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So at what age does this start to matter? My younger dd does wear glasses, and has mentioned that she would be scared of getting contacts.


I wonder if sports goggles would make a difference, at least for rehearsals. They fit tighter to the face and dont slip or move around. They aren't the most attractive things, but might help during class time.

Edited by fuddyduddy
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