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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet Schools- Steps on Broadway Open Classes

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Honestly I think 10 is too young for classes at Steps.  Having said that , you could call and speak with someone beforehand , it can’t hurt . 

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They must have a good reason for why they set the minimum age for class attendance.  I agree that you should call and talk to someone before just ignoring their stated requirements.  It’s not just a matter of your daughter feeling she can “fit in”, it is a matter of the rest of the class feeling comfortable with the class make-up.

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Those are good points- I will call to see if there's any wiggle room or recommendations (maybe a particular class), but she can wait until she's older- we will be back.

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On 4/7/2019 at 5:40 AM, Water said:

The only issue is that my daughter is 10 and on the website it says minimum age 12. I know we can ask the teacher.. should I also call ahead?

I do think you should call ahead and check. There is sometimes an issue around insurance and/or safeguarding. There is a Steps junior programme - a 10 year old might be better there.

I drop into classes at Steps whenever I'm in New York, as there are a couple of teachers from whom I continue to learn a lot. I think - IF (and it's a big if) your DD were to attend classes, you should look at Kathryn Sullivan's Advanced Beginner, or her Beginner (I think she teaches a Beginner's class at Peridance in the Village as well - nearest subway is Union Square).

But - at one of the classes I did (Advanced Beginner level), there were about 3 young girls - 11-13 I'd say. One had pretty good training, the other 2 had - frankly - no idea. They were a bit lost and class time was taken up showing them how & what to do (eg starting with left hand on the barre even if watching the combination meant they were facing the other way!). Ms Sullivan was very kind, very positive, very encouraging - she is a really lovely teacher (she remembers me from year to year when I visit from the UK!).

But these young lasses were clearly lost in an open class - I think that they were not used to the setting of each exercise from scratch - they'd obviously been learning much more by rote & repetition, which I would absolutely expect in training at that age. I suspect that they were at Steps for the "experience" which is nice - to an extent ... but a bit intrusive for other class members.

And the way that a class works for adults is different to the way a class is structured for a 10 year old. These are adult classes, with the difference that that involves. 

Maybe look at the Children's programme at Steps, or other large NYC studio?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Water, You can give them a call and discuss your daughter’s training history. The recommended age for adult classes at schools like Steps (and BDC, Peridance etc.) in NYC is usually 12-13, but many 10-11 year olds with a solid foundation are allowed into the beginner or advanced beginner courses. Their own pre-teen & teen students sometimes drop into these classes during school breaks.

My daughter was allowed in at that age & it wasn’t a problem. Although she was the youngest (& only child) in the beginner class, there were enough adults with zero experience, so she wasn’t the “weak link” or anything. In fact, she was even asked to demonstrate at times. In our experience, they just needed her dance background information to see which class would be a good fit & then double checked with the staff to see which teachers were okay with it. They placed her into the advanced beginner class, but it didn’t fit into our schedule so we went with beginner. 

As redbookish mentioned, attending one of their children’s classes might be another option. They have a pre-prof ballet division, so perhaps your daughter can take one of those classes. However, I do know that they will be having their pre-prof placement classes for the fall next week, so I’m not sure how easily you’ll be accommodated in the children’s division in the midst of that. 

Please let us know what you decide! 

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