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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet Schools in New York - Poughkeepsie area


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  • stefanie


  • alk5


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  • Clara 76


Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Mozika!!!


Does your dd currently dance? Is she looking to get more serious, or does she just want to try some ballet?

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Yes, this is my DD 4th year of taking ballet.

She's been taking ballet once a week for 2 years

(as well as jazz and hip-hop) at the local non ballet

oriented studio that offers ballet only once a week.

DD really loves ballet, so for her 3rd year of ballet,

we added one more ballet class at the other studio.

This year she is also taking an occasional "master"

ballet class at a further away dance studio.

My DD loves taking ballet from different teachers

because she believe that they all offer something

a little different, and she can learn from all of them.

But after reading this message board, I realize that

this situation is not ideal if she is serious about ballet.

I don't know enough about ballet to judge the quality

of instruction at any of the studios, that's why I'd

like to hear any recommendations from this board

members that seem very knowledgeable.

Thanks in advance.

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Ah! Thank you for the information! That will be helpful.


You're in an area that doesn't seem to have many schools where the focus is on ballet. MY first thought would be to take her into NYC for some audition classes. The main academies there would be SAB, ABT/JKO, & Joffrey. Take her in and see if she gets accepted. If so, now would be the time to make the commitment to her training. If she gets accepted, what that means is that she has potential for a career in ballet. Not a guarantee- but potential.


If she does, then you want to get the best training possible, and that would be in the city.


If she doesn't get accepted at this moment, then you can continue on with the local schools trying to find the place that offers at least the right amount of classes for her level. Locally, it appears that the only place that offers enough classes would be the Ballet Arts Studio. You might check out Catskill Ballet to see how their classes are.

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Clara 76, thanks for the quick reply!


I'm considering taking her to a couple of SI auditions just to see where she is at in her training and if she's good enough to get in.

But then again some of the programs might not be that selective at that age.

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Good idea, actually. Programs are looking at potential for training at that age, rather than professional potential, but if she gets accepted to some of the SIs that we have listed here on Ballet Talk, that will give you some more information upon which to make a decision!

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You could check out the New Paltz School of ballet across the river. I don't have recent info about it, but it used to be very good.

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New Paltz School of Ballet is one of the best schools in your area. The directors, Lisa and Peter Naumann, are former NYCB dancers. The rest of the faculty is excellent as well. They have a performing company, New Paltz Ballet Theater, which performs the Nutcracker yearly at the Bardavon Theater in the city of Poughkeepsie. Also, they have done Spring Galas at the same theater. Their students have been accepted at many SI's, including Miami City Ballet, NYSSSA, The Rock School, San Francisco Ballet, Chautauqua, and the School of American Ballet. Both of my daughters used to dance there. The link to their website is: New Paltz School of Ballet.

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Probably the best bet locally for Poughkeepsie would be Valerie Feit at Ballet Arts Studio in Beacon. The "problem" with Dutchess County is that Poughkeepsie is directly served by Metro-North, so a lot of talent simply gets on the train and goes to NYC.


Edited to add: A colleague tells me that Ms. Feit has retired, but the studio continues to produce good quality training.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Logrea Dance in Ossining may be a bit far away, but they produce some really great dancers. Ballet School of the Westchester Ballet Company. Not far from the Taconic and Route 9a.

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  • 2 months later...

I have a daughter the same age & I am also looking for a good school in dutchess county. I have not been able to find anything. I have heard mixed reviews concerning New Paltz. And i know that Ballet Arts used to be very good but not anymore.


Have you found anything yet? I would be very interested to hear from anyone w/more info. to share. We are driving very far right now to give our daughter lessons.


I don't see any other option except to take her to the city. Help....

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Clara 76 would you recommend a 10 year old who is serious about ballet commute to the city for training? Our daughter has been accepted into several SIs for the summer. Very good ones too. we have been told that she has talent & her acceptance into the si's would support that. by your earlier post it would indicate that she has talent & should be training in the city. And what would you recommend as far as #hours/days of the week for that age?

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In my opinion it is not necessary for a younger student to commute all the way to NYC for excellent training. There is plenty of opportunity for that when they are older. It's still probably far for you although certainly closer than NYC, but Scarsdale Ballet Studio in Westchester has an excellent program for children your daughter's age. Its all ballet and the training is top notch. Although they don't feed directly into a company position, they have a a pre-pro track that takes kids up to about 14 (older students are recreational, but still great training) and then an excellent track record of students gaining admission to SAB and JKO, as well as selective summer programs, especially in recent years.

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I really don't believe it's in the best interests of the child to start commuting from the Dutchess/Ulster area at 10 years of age. (Especially with Metro-North rates going up AGAIN!) There is basic training available there, and as things stand now, of what I have directly observed, New Paltz is probably your best bet. Even going to Westchester is not necessary. Do the best you can with schools in your area, then see the thread above about a placement audition at a major NYC school. If you can't afford a full schedule in either time or money, do the best deal you can for an occasional drop-in class in NY, then when she gets older, consider enhancing that schedule. It'll be easier on both of you.

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