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Adult ballet class in NY city


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Hi, no sure if it is proper to ask such question here, but I saw the instructions on Adult Ballet Student that questions about adult ballet classes should be asked here so here it is..


I'm an adult ballet learner at very beginning stage. I'll be in NYU for one year's study so I'm looking for adult ballet classes that offer beginning to intermediate classes for adults. This is the first time I'm in the US (I'm from Asia) so I have totally no idea how adult ballet class in the US is run, and if they accept beginners. I'm 26 so I guess teen's class would also be ok with me? Could anyone please give any clue, information, links, school names so that I could do further researches? Schools near NYU would be preferred but no limitations to locations, as long as it's in New York (or New Jersey).


English is not my native language so I tried to express myself clearly. However, if any of my words cause any misunderstandings, or sounds weird to you, please let me know. I will improve it :)


Thank you very much!

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers!!!!


There are so many places for adult ballet classes in New York City, so you're in luck!


Alvin Ailey has "Absolute Beginners Class" Monday, Wednesday, Friday, & Sunday. I am sure others will have more to add!

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Kathy Sullivan's beginner and advanced Beginner classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at STEPS are very good. She gives many personal corrections, and also teaches pointe after ballet :)

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, shchenyust. We're glad you found us. And you'll find you are not alone as an adult ballet student, entranced by the art & skill.


There are a lot of threads about classes in New York, although some of them are quite old. But do a search and see what others say about various studios, classes and teachers. I've been lucky enough to have been there twice in the last couple of months, and have planned my itinerary around doing various classes, and experiencing various teachers.


But it is harder if you are much more of a beginner. Drop in classes may not be right for you. But if you do try out drop in classes at the "big" studios, go for the lowest level they offer. An "Advanced Beginner" class in New York is probably Intermediate elsewhere. You need the "Basic" or "Absolute" Beginner level.


There are several really excellent studios: I've done class at Steps on Broadway (possibly the most famous), Peridance -- a bit more relaxed & downtown on 13th Street if you're living down that way); and Ballet Arts - I was lucky to take class with the phenomenal Kat Wildish, and the studio there is gorgeous. It's midtown at 56th, so easy to get to.


At Steps, I'd echo the recommendation above for Kathy Sullivan. Ms Sullivan is a gracious patient excellent teacher. I really enjoy her classes. She teaches at Steps and also Peridance.


Other studios which people recommend highly are Broadway Dance Centre, Joffrey, Alvin Ailey, and Ballet Academy East.


Some of the big famous studios offer workshops which give you a graded introduction to ballet. Steps do this, as does Ballet Arts.


But what you really want is a course in which you enrol and sign up for a semester's worth of classes. Joffrey does these, and I think Alvin Ailey does as well. They are often called "Workshops" and you register and ay for a series of classes, so there's continuity of curriculum, and some progression.


Here are some links to get you started:


Steps: Ultimate Adult Beginner workshops: http://www.stepsnyc.com/classes/workshops/ultimate-introductory-adult-dance-workshops/


Peridance Workshops: http://www.peridance.com/program.cfm?P_ID=21

Peridance is very near the Village location of NYU.


Joffrey: http://www.joffreyballetschool.com/adult-program.html


If you look at the Joffrey Adult Programme, you'll see they run Adult absolute beginner workshops: http://joffreyballetschool.com/adult-program-workshops.html


Ballet Academy East: http://joffreyballetschool.com/adult-program-workshops.html

I've never taken class there, but I've heard very good things, including a conversation at an academic conference I was attending just last weekend. The colleague chairing my session used to take class there, and spoke very highly of it. Some of my day job is in a field related to dance, some is not, so it was lovely to have a conversation about ballet right in the middle of an academic meeting about something else entirely!



Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre: http://www.alvinailey.org/aileyextension/dance-fitness-classes-adults


These are all in Manhattan; in Brooklyn, you'll find the Mark Morris Dance Center which looks promising: http://markmorrisdancegroup.org/dance-center/adult-classes/Ballet


You might find that NYU runs classes as well, which would probably be discounted for students.


The other thing I'd advise is that you try a few classes at a few studios and see what sort of teaching suits you. I'm generally only in New York for a week or 10 days at a time, so I pick & choose according to trying out different teachers & levels (made a tentative step up to "Slow/Beginning Intermediate" this last trip). But if you're going to be there studying for a year (wonderful experience!) then you should find a couple of teachers and stick with them. You could introduce yourself and say you're in NYC for a year and want to take advantage of the excellent teaching to learn a lot.


I usually introduce myself after class to a new teacher, explain that I'm just visiting & that I hope I'll be able to attend their class again on my next visit -- because it seems rude to do one or two classes & then disappear! Especially when I've learned a lot & enjoyed the class.

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Thank you sooooooo much Redbookish, Clara 76 and KitriFan!!!


Yes I will try these links and go through the previous topics to see if there's any class looks good to me. To tell the truth, I will be in Manhattan so your suggestions look absolutely awesome.


Again, thank you!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome shchenyust! You're in luck as NYC has an awesome selection of adult classes, and taking ballet class is a great way to meet people and feel at home in a new place.


Hope it's ok to post a follow-up question here... if not let me know and I'll start a new thread. Thanks!


Does anyone know if a specific school or teacher in NYC would be especially suitable for adult students with significant physical limitations? Outside NYC my level would be considered beginner or advanced-beginner (three years of training). Because of a disability that affects my connective tissue and joints, I have to be extra careful about things like knees over toes, no pronating, and not twisting my supporting leg. So I need a teacher who will be patient and doesn't mind me using less turnout, modifying some combinations to be slower and gentler, etc. I'm good at knowing my limits and modifying combinations myself, but it's nice to feel welcome and have a teacher who thinks it's worthwhile for me to dance even though it'll never look like the ideal. Though it would be a bonus if the teacher is knowledgeable about joints, alignment, etc and actively interested in helping me.


I'd also prefer somewhere with a variety of students of different ages and physical ability? I've looked at these studios' websites, and in the pictures/videos of their adult classes, everyone seems to be tall, thin, and have near-180-degree turnout and great extensions. So I would feel completely out of place :helpsmilie:


Thanks in advance! :)


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Katie, I don't think you would be out of place at all.


I know what you mean about the high legs etc, but think those photos are aspirational. I'm a mid-height, middle-aged, stocky (although not noticeable when I'm moving) spectacles-wearing dancer. I do fine in classes, and even get corrections & comments sometimes. And I've been in classes in NYC where there are people of all abilities & ages, doing what they can. What's wonderful is the respect & space & equality given to all people. If you're in class, as long as you respect other people's presence, they'll respect yours.


To counter those ideas about not 'belonging', here's a lovely film about Steps, which shows you that ALL types of people dance there!




I'd say you'd be fine with Ms Sullivan, in her Beginners or Basic Beginners class. I've also heard great things about Ballet Arts East, as a more personal, less frenetic place (compared with the 'famous' studios like Steps) for adult dancers, but haven't been there myself.


I think that once you've done a couple of classes, and think a particular teacher is for you, you could introduce yourself & explain the reasons for your limitations. You could also try a floor barre and/or PIlates? There's also a teacher a poster here, Lampwick (waves to you!) has praised over many years for her approach to the quirks of everybody's bodies: Emilietta Ettlin. She now teachers her floor barre at another studio, Ripley Grier. Details are on Ms Ettlin's FaceBook page (I won't link to that, as if you're on FB, you can search really easily). Here's an interview with her




Good luck and lucky you contemplating a series of classes in NYC!

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Thanks Redbookish for the tips, and for your great post about the classes you took last month (something to aspire to!). I'm moving next month so I'll be sure to report back once I've tried some classes.

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