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What level at Steps NYC?


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My DD and I are planning to visit NYC for 3 days over Labor Day. I am encouraging her to take a class at Steps to see what it is like. What level is appropriate for an very petite almost 12 year old? She has been on pointe 1.5 years, just took RAD Int Foundation exam and was level 2x at Rock SI. I want her to be challenged but not discouraged on this first venture out into the NY scene.

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I'm pretty sure all the classes are advanced adult classes.She could ask at Steps which to try and she can keep toward the back while feeling it out!

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All the classes at steps are not advanced. They range from basic beginner to advanced. I can't really advise you on what level class to take as I've never taken there. I would call the studio and ask for a recommendation and I'm sure they can give you one. I'd guess maybe start with a low-int class and see how she feels about that one and then you can adjust from there. Have fun, I've heard steps is great!

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I have been there and see no beginner classes in ballet.There is though a children's division.Maybe I'm wrong???? :jawdrop:

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knock knock, (advanced adult) STEPS student here.


There are, in fact, a variety of levels of open classes at STEPS. A 12 year old with a year of pointe would be fine in most advanced beginner/low intermediate classes. Calling ahead and asking for advice from the staff is a great idea. Most of the people who work there are work-study students and are quite familiar with the teachers and classes.


That said, the classes are probably harder than what she's used to, but children generally get lots of individual attention.


Peter O'Brien's style may suit her. He's RAD-oriented and a very good teacher. I've taken his class a couple of times and it was hard but very academic.


Alex Tressor's classes are unintimidating. He jokes around a lot and gives a fine class. The accompanist will play more "jazzy", "dancey" stuff in his class. A good intermediate class for someone's first experience at STEPS. Not sure how many kids take his class, but there usually seems to be a broad "mix" of abilities in there.


Emilietta Ettlin usually has a few young dancers in her class and will give many individual corrections. She's a wonderful person to refine your placement with. Very oriented toward working in a safe, anatomical manner. You learn TONS in her class. And it's a fun class to dance as well.


Most of the teachers are really great. Keep calling around and asking. They DO have a children's program. Not sure if it's open to outsiders, but maybe you could lie and say you're checking out the school for full-time or something :jawdrop: . Or even ask if she would be allowed to "visit" and try out a class if you're uncomfortable w/ that...

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I suggest that you run a search keyword Steps, since a discussion very like this took place on the site a month or two ago. My daughter, like many other kids around New York who are enrolled in winter/spring full-time training programs at other schools, nevertheless drops into Steps when she is in between sessions at her home studio. It provides a different perspective than the usual one, and the teachers are varied and wonderful, for the most part. However, the classes are definitely geared towards adults, and the etiquette is to ask permission before taking a class; that said, most teachers readily give permission after a short conversation about your child's previous training and level. I do agree that probably advanced beginner./ beginning intermediate is the highest level she should try, even if she's quite good and advanced for her age, although when you get there, you can look in at the door and see. Arrive early so you have time to speak to the teacher you are interested in, and take a look around. The classes are often taken by professionals, and althought they are kind and tolerant, asking an ABT or NYCB member to maneuver around your child in the center is just plain inconsiderate. Our children are "in on a pass", and I think it's important to be respectful so we don't wear out our children's welcome...


And do run a search on "Steps", lots of good references and descriptions of classes there!


Have fun! :jawdrop:

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I was interested in going to NYC for my sweet sixteen and was curious to know how many people are usually in an open class (not during the summer months, though)? Thanks. :jawdrop:

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For the 12 year old dancer:


Try Beg or Adv beg ballet with Lonnie Moretton and Robert Atwood. Int ballet with Moretton or Kathy Smith. Peff Modelski and Emilia Ettline teach int or adv int and are good with young girls.


Generally, it is nice to ask the teacher if a younger kid can join these adult classes. They appreciate the courtesy.



Check moms and dads threads for more info. I know there is alot.


It is always hard to tell what the class size will be. Generally Steps cuts off at 32 per class max, I believe.

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THANKS everyone for your feedback. I will call Steps and see what they suggest about level. I'll probably play it safe with Adv. Beg for the first time. Am hoping that since it's a holiday weekend, maybe class won't be so large. Also will give DD guidacne on equiette as we don't have mixed levels at our home school.

I wlll also talk to teacher and ask for permission to join the class, I think this will be a great expereince for her. We are so close to the city that once the ice is broken she may be willing to take other classes during breaks or just for fun. Thanks again - I am off to do a search!!

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Sorry I'm late here, but if you are still looking for info:

Before I went to my SI this year, I had just turned 13 a few days before and I went to Steps. Well, I took advanced classes with no problem. I had taken the Intermediate class the day before and felt that there wasn't much difference in the classes. I think it depends on the teacher... Willy Burman's class is really advanced (that is why he teaches advanced), but other teachers give very different classes than his. I think that the best teacher to take with would be David Howard because his classes are in between int/adv. I have also heard that Alexander Tressor is supposed to have a good, fun class too.

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Guest ap's mom

My daughter at age 11 (now 18) took classes at steps. She walked into an intermediate jazz class and was obviously the youngest in the class. As I looked through the door I could see the look on the teachers face "uh oh", but my daughter was fine in that level and after the class the teacher took her aside

and said that she was welcome in any of her intermediate classes. That said, after your first class, the teacher can and will make a recommendation regarding

a recommended level. At the desk they tried to discourage me regarding her inital class in the intermediate level, but I knew from past workshops that she

could hold her own. But we had an agreement that if she felt that she was way in

over her head that she would respectfully excuse herself from the class as not to be a problem. Sometimes just being young can cause them to be intimidated around the older students and not participate to their best.

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Guest Allonge89

I would suggest an advanced beginner class for your daughter. Lonne Moretton would be a good choice; he's lively, easygoing, and encouraging. In the more advanced levels, there's Fabrice Herault, who is also wonderful. She also could do an intermediate class, though that is considered to be a pre-professional level in New York. Have fun, there are some great classes and teachers there!

Edited by Allonge89
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