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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Steps on Broadway or Broadway Dance Center?

Guest london_dancer

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Guest london_dancer

which one does everyone think is better? I am considering going to NY for a few weeks and taking as many classes as I can at either one of this places. I* know they are almost the same really.

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They're very different.


BDC is instrumental in launching the professional careers of many Broadway-type dancers --- acting, singing, dancing. There are plenty of professional or beginning professional dancers/actors/singers there who have no more than an Intermediate skill level in classical dance, but who are spectacular in doing what they do. BDC also seems to attract a number of Aliey students who want to branch out a bit beyond Ailey. Many show biz careers had their start at BDC, and some modern/folk dance careers as well.


Steps is a place for professional ballet and modern dancers to train inbetween gigs, and a place to go to get new gigs. Historically, it's not really been a place to train students or launch a career, although they have built a school now. Very few professional ballet or modern dancers had their start at Steps, especially the open class program, although many pass through for periods of their career. The ballet skill level of the dancers at Steps is higher than that at BDC, since there are so many professional dancers there.


Both studios are frequently used by tourists who wish to take a few classes in New York City.


Ballet training for students usually happens at other places --- BAE, Studio Maestro, Joffrey, and (for older students) Ballet Arts.

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Guest london_dancer

I mean in the way they have visa programmes, loads of daily open classes etc.


Looking at your list Ballet Arts does them as well. I think BRoadway dance do more classes though.

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davidg.... could I ask your opinion of the ISVP at Steps? My DD is scheduled to start Jan 2nd...with the HOPE of being in NYC during the audition season, taking 2 or more daily classes...and landing the coveted contract offer :shrug:

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I don't know anything about your daughter or Step's ISVP program. What I do know in general about this kind of thing:


1. I have met ZERO professional ballerinas who say they got their training at an open class program.


2. International students are a big profit center for New York dance studios --- the fact that they are in NYC allows them sell in part based on dreams. Rents are very high for the studios, they do what they can to survive. I have seen schools that want a lot of money up-front from International Students, and they give no refund if you get hired halfway through and stop taking classes. I don't like that kind of business practice, but it probably makes them money. It is their way of profiting off of American visa regulations.


3. Due to market demand, supply of quality dance training has far outstripped the supply of quality dance jobs. The difference between dancers who make successful careers and those who don't is often a matter of career management and ability to get an apprentice position (and thus experience) at the right stage. It's not so much a matter of good technique, since that is in abundant supply.


4. There are plenty of auditions in NYC, but there are also plenty of experienced dancers without jobs. More experienced dancers usually get hired before less experienced dancers.


My general opinion is it's best to find a company with a good level of quality and stability and a school attached with which to apprentice, and then do what you can to apprentice there. They have the resources available to develop a career in the early stages. Going to blind auditions is hit-or-miss. Many companies only audition in NYC if they haven't filled their available positions in other ways --- dancers from NYC are seen as temporary stop-gaps to fill the casting need for the current season; even if they ARE offered contracts, it is often assumed that the dancers themselves may not stick around, so there's disincentive to hire dancers from NYC who will need any investment on the company's part.

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For the most part, I agree with what davidg has said. Landing a contract by attending an open audition is extremely rare. I wouldn't ever suggest that as a strategy to get a job. It just doesn't happen that way. Dance (in my own limited experience) appears to be no different from any other professional field. Word of mouth and experience seems to be the modus opperandi for getting a job.


But a short training stint at Steps can be very beneficial in many ways. Your daughter will met a lot of people and gain more perspective into the field. Living in NYC can teach you to be more self-sufficient. The teachers are wonderful. Contrary to popular belief, many of them will give individual attention and corrections. She'll make some contacts and try out some new styles.


I trained there. I'm certainly no "ballerina". But I got the requisite skills necessary to begin a career as a classical dancer at the entry level. Artistic development happens through performance experience and professional work. You can't get that in a classroom.


london-dancer. BDC has great jazz classes. For ballet, Steps is better. The floors at BDC are too sprung for ballet IMO and the level is *generally* more intermediate. Lots of fantastic Broadway dancers at BDC. For fantastic ballet...Steps.

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