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Ballet Talk for Dancers
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Ballet Schools in Washington DC

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Victoria Leigh

Balletmaus, the top ballet schools are in DC and Bethesda. Both have jazz and modern, but it is not the main focus. I would suggest Washington Ballet or Maryland Youth Ballet for ballet, and, if they do not have as much jazz or modern as you want, check out Joy of Motion, which has, I think, 3 locations.

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cheetah

Balletmaus - if you can provide a more specific location where you're looking, I can give you some insight. Also what age level you're looking for. For example, on a map, Alexandria and Ashburn don't look too far apart. In traffic, the reality is they are VERY far apart. Time of day would help, too - day or evening. I do know of several options in most of these areas, but they will all depend on what you're looking for!..

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koshka

Balletmaus (and MichelleW)-

 

Arlington Center for Dance is back up and running in Bailey's Crossroads (intersection of Rte 7 and Carlin Springs Rd.) The name seems to be morphing to "Center Dance Company". There are some adult jazz and modern classes, though the schedule is dominated by ballet.

 

www.arldance.org

www.centerdancecompany.org

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edgart6

I would like to update this thread. After three years at a pre-pro school, my DD has opted for college. She will be interning in DC this fall and living at the American U. campus. The dance classes there will not fit into her schedule. Besides WSB (which she knows well since she has spent a few summers there) can any recommend a school that will have a strong advanced ballet in the evenings and weekends? She will need to take public transportation and prefers not too far.

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cheetah

She could take the metro over to Maryland Youth Ballet - red line straight into Silver Spring. It's a short walk from the metro. She could also get over to the orange line to Ballston then take a bus to BalletNova. They seem kind of like long commutes but maybe she can do some work on the metro. I think both of these have their schedule on their websites. DS has tried some of BalletNova's adult classes and been pleased. If you want to check out the distances you can go to www.wmata.com. I checked it quickly and it looks like a bus ride to the orange line from American University.

 

I'll ask around and see if anyone knows a smaller studio that is closer. Will she have a car with her?

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edgart6

No car. I believe the red line runs right next to AU, but I will need to check. She has Tuesday and Friday afternoons off so a longer commute on those days and say Saturdays would be ok, especially if she likes the class. WSB is the closest so she may try to take some there as well. I am thinking she will want 3-4 days per week but her schedule might be too intense for that much.

 

Thanks for the suggestions.

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cheetah

I did some more research. The latest information says that American University has a shuttle service that takes students to Tenleytown Metro - which is the redl ine. This is the best route if she wants to get to Maryland Youth Ballet since it's on the red line. She will have to change lines to get to the orange line if she decides to go to BalletNova.

 

City Dance Center at Strathmore is another possible option. They are in North Bethesda and, at least for now, have a number of ballet classes that are for "professional" level students. These are in the morning I believe, though. You can see their website at www.citydance.net. Jacqueline Akhmedova is teaching those classes. There are a variety of other dance types offered as well. A quick search shows she can reach that location via the red line. She would go to the Shady Grove stop and then have to walk about 1/2 mile. I don't know of anyone who has taken classes there, but know several, including DS, who have taken class from Mdm. Akhmedova as well as Alisher Saburov, who also teaches some classes there in the evening. If she is interested in this option, she should check in advance since Mdm. Akhmedova has sent out a notice that she is opening her own academy. I can't find any specific information, though, so don't know if it will be colocated with the current facility or if she will stop teaching there and open her own facility, or what. She is advertising as Akhmedova Academy of Ballet with a Maryland phone number (northern DC area - Bethesda, Silver Spring, etc.).

 

Finally, American Dance Institute, in Rockville, MD, is accessible by Metro. She would take the red line to the Twinbrook station then walk about 10 - 15 minutes. They advertise intermediate adult ballet classes, but I can't speak to the level of class they would be. They may have some options that work with her schedule.

 

The one caveat on using the metro is to make sure she checks the metro in advance, especially on weekends, to make sure there is no construction, maintenance, or repair work going on. This can delay travel by as much as 3 times the typical travel time. It's usually pretty well posted and will typically occur late at night or on weekends.

 

As she gets closer to moving and if she has questions you can always pm me and I can give you more specifc information on connecting buses, etc. that we have found work well.

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Hans

WSB is about a ten-minute walk from the Tenleytown Metro station, so if AU has a shuttle that goes there, that's probably the simplest option. There is a bus that runs down Wisconsin Avenue and stops across the street from WSB, so that would be useful in bad weather.

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edgart6

She will actually be staying on the Tenley campus of AU for the internship so that makes it all easy. Her schedule right now looks crazy so the more options the better but she probably will be traveling alone. thanks and as we do get closeer I am take you up on pm to get the best info for her. I will take her out and we could explore before she starts.

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cheetah

Feel free to get in touch with us when you come out and we'll be glad to share our experiences. By 15 by DS could navigate the city, including connecting buses, fairly well. Taxis are near most of the schools and stops as well, and easy to get, in the event she gets in when it's dark or the weather is particularly bad.

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edgart6

She has spent a summer in DC and lived in NYC and Boston so very comfortable in an urban setting. But her load in the fall is heavy and very odd schedule when you throw in the internship. But she does not want to let her ballet slip at all. Thanks all and I will be in touch. Any additional info is always welcome.

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Green river

Can anyone provide more current information on pre-pro programs in the DC area. I'm already familiar with MYB and WSB. In particular I'm interested in anyone with experience with American Dance Institute. Also I'm interested in programs that don't require early release from school.

Thanks.

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Reece

I see you're a mom of a dancer. I've recently started taking an adult beginner class at ADI, so my comments may be of limited applicability, but hopefully will be more useful than no response at all.

 

Thus far I'm favorably impressed with ADI. The facility is nice, the interior purpose-built for dance instruction. There are proper changing rooms and lockers -- none of this "changing in the bathroom down the hall" nonsense -- that are clean. There are several separate classroom studios of various sizes. The floors are Marley and in good shape. There's a small theater for staging productions. It's a 10-15 minute walk from the Washington Metrorail system through safe commercial and residential areas.

 

Our instructor danced professionally for 10 years, including solo/principal positions with the San Francisco Ballet. When she was away on vacation the artistic director substituted; he's a 20 year veteran of the Washington Ballet and amazing to watch and learn from. A review of the bios of the other faculty members suggest that nearly all have pro experience. This brings knowledge and experience to the classes that I haven't found in some other schools (not that my experience has been that broad). I've read tales of adult students being treated dismissively at other schools, but I've seen none of that attitude at ADI.

 

I have no knowledge of their programs for children, so I can't help you there.

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Green river

Thanks Reece for the info.

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dancypants1

I am considering changing my DD (11, 12 next year) to Washington Ballet and was wondering if anyone had a review or any info. There is no tuition listed on the website, so I will have to call and see if it's even a possibility first, of course. I am guesstimating she would be in Level 4. My questions are not really training related, I know that is great.

 

Where do most of the kids come from- DC or outlying areas? We will be coming from NoVa and I am wondering if it will be hard to make friends if everyone else is from the same area (ie, more local, similar socioeconomic background). Is the atmosphere nice, or competitive? How selective is the process to attend?

 

Thank you in advance, this is a big move we are considering so any input is appreciated!

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