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Ballet Schools in Washington DC

Guest marathongirl

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Guest marathongirl



New member here! I just started back to ballet after (gulp) 29 years (last took class when I was 11!). I am having a great time - taking two adult classes a week at the Arlington Center for Dance, which I love. But I want to add one or two classes a week to that and was wondering if anyone knew anything about the adult classes at the Washington School of Ballet, Maryland Youth Ballet, or Joy of Motion? What do their levels mean? Are they really for adult beginner students? Do you like them? That sort of thing. Or are there other locations that you know of in this area.


Right now I am in a beginner II class (the only thing lower was basic beginner which is for those totally new to ballet). The class is challenging for me but I am learning again and like the challenge. (Now if only my feet would do what my head tells them to do!) LOL.


Thanks and I look forward to any info you have.

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Hello marathongirl, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! :thumbsup:


Congratulations on getting back into ballet classes! Washington Ballet and Maryland Youth Ballet both offer Adult Beg. Classes. I'm not sure which nights the WSB classes are, but I think there are two classes a week. MYB has a large schedule of morning and evening adult classes. Both schools are very good :sweating:

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There have been a couple of recent threads on this. Try doing a search in both Adult Students fora using the term 'washington.' I got some good advice, although can't comment on it, as I wasn't able to do class while I was in DC after all. Here's one thread I found useful:

Good studios in Metro DC

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Depending on which Beginning II class(es) you are taking at Arlington (difficulty varies somewhat by teacher...), you should be fine at MYB's Beg II classes. Not sure about WB. Really the best way to find out is just to give some classes a try and see if the level(s) is/are right for you.

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Guest marathongirl

Thanks. I didn't even think of doing a search - duh! :) I may try a beginner class at WSB tonight. For some reason going there just scared me, like the beginner classes really aren't beginner classes and I'd really stick out - does that make any sense?

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marathongirl, Alexandria Ballet also offers adult classes. The caveat there is that they mix their non-pro track teens in with their adults, so it kind of depends on your comfort level with that sort of thing. I am going to take a trial class over there soon because my level is pretty full for walkins at ACD, which is where I usually dance, this semester.


Also, take a look at Reston Conservatory if you live in western Fairfax. They have an adult class at 7 on, I believe, wednesday nights that is taught somewhere between the Beginning 2/Adv Beg level (in ADC parlance). A lot depends on who is there, as far as I understand it.

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Guest marathongirl

Hi, I just found another school, has anyone taken classes at Kintz-Mejia Academy of Ballet in McLean, VA? I did a search but didn't really find anything on the site about them. It seems worth a look.


MichelleW - I'll look into Alexandria Ballet - if you take a class there let me know how it goes. I know what you mean about ACD classes being full - I have to make some up b/c I will be out of town and its hard to find classes - last night I took a Ballet I class - which was good for me (I think I'll keep using it as a makeup - I like Desiree - and I actually didn't feel like a total clutz! LOL - I could actually do the steps. )

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I've looked at Kintz-Mejia, but I'm a little reluctant to take class there, only because it looks so much more structured than the somewhat more open adult class situation I'm accustomed to.


I had the opportunity to take classes with some of their adult students when I took the Suzanne Farrell class at the Kennedy Center this summer and they are very Russian in their technique. Based on what I saw from those women, it looks like whatever they're doing at Kintz-Mejia, they're doing pretty well. It was pretty funny to hear the women hiss the Russian names of steps to one another when they were given to us, though.

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Marathongirl, don't worry about "sticking out" at WSB -- from my experience there (I only go on Saturdays), adult classes draw a variety of levels and everyone is made to feel welcome. Hope you try a class and enjoy it, the teachers are great and it's a very friendly and yet professionally run place. :lol:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quick note about KMAB. Their classes are very Russian, and there is 'light years' of difference between the Beginner level and the Beginner/Intermediate level. (There are 3 levels; the next is Adv/Pro).


The beginner class is not fast paced and usually is not a regular full rep (there is very little across the floor work, no grand allegro, etc.), Mostly just barre, small jumps, and port de bras with a little "walking" thrown in at the end. In contrast the Beginner/Intermediate class almost always ends with 10-15 mins of pointe work.


There are KMAB dancers who dance at the Intermediate & Advanced level who also attend the beginning class, just for the work. The structure is very deliberate and stresses exactness of positions and technique.


Some may find this approach "boring", but as with all classes, I think they are what you make of them.


There website has details about the schedule and their methodology. Check out their section on "choosing a ballet school"-mostly about choosing a school for a child, but you'll get the idea. If you google Kintz Mejia you can find them.

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So does the Mejia part of that name stand for Paul Mejia?


Also, Marathongirl, if you had simply done a search here, we would never get to have this interesting thread :(

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Guest sunbird033

Classical Ballet Academy of Northern Virginia, which is in Herndon, VA, is extremely professional, I know they offer some adult classes on Mondays but I don't know the details other than that. The studio is excellent though, and I know a more advanced adult student may be allowed to take some of the student classes. Here is the website: Classical Ballet Academy

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  • 6 months later...

I feel like I'm unearthing this topic, but.... has anyone had any experience with the Virginia Ballet Company's adult program? I tried to do a search, but I couldn't find this school discussed on these boards. Thanks!


Edit to add: Just to clarify, I'm an "adult" (ha, I don't consider myself mature enough, but heck) beginner looking for a new school with good, > 1 a week evening classes or weekend classes. I danced at a pre-pro school with open adult classes, but it didn't seem to take beginning adult students too seriously, so that was kind of disappointing. I'd love to go to MYB or WSB, but transportation is too difficult. (I live in No. VA, will be working full time in Bethesda for the summer, both my parents work full time in MD and DC, I've a little brother who needs to be picked up from school and summer camps, we only have two cars to manage all this... so...)

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