Forum: Ballet / Ballet - Adult Dancers

adult non-beginner classes in NYC?
By Jenerator
On Sun Jul 06, 2014 03:12 AM

Hubby and I are celebrating my 50th birthday with a trip to NYC in October. Was wondering if anyone can recommend adult non-beginner (but nowhere near advanced) level ballet classes for me to attend on a drop-in basis? I currently dance once a week at non-beginner classes at The Australian Ballet.

7 Replies to adult non-beginner classes in NYC?

re: adult non-beginner classes in NYC?
By iPurplemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:13 AM
Never been to it myself (didn't have time when I was there) but I've heard great things and have had many friends take drop-ins at Steps on Broadway. They offer many different levels, you just have to make it in time to register for your class.

You probably know beginning or intermediate at Steps (or any studio) can mean a different level than what you're used to. I can't recommend a class because I haven't taken there. But whenever I take drop-ins in SF I like to take a variety of levels from different teachers.

You might even see members from various companies... Some of my friends have seen Misty Copeland there!
re: adult non-beginner classes in NYC?
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:57 AM
I went to a lower drop-in intermediate class at Steps once. It was easy to follow for me. I am actually more advanced but, as iPurple stated, one never knows the true level. I watched an upper level intermediate and figured I could have gone to that one and done okay, as well.

There's also Broadway Dance Center, but I haven't been to that one. Steps has a LOT of offerings, though, from beginner to professional levels. If you don't feel confident with an intermediate, I am pretty sure they have advanced beginner classes.
re: adult non-beginner classes in NYC?
By RosePremium member
On Mon Jul 07, 2014 02:26 AM
I've done ballet classes with Steps and BDC and Alvin Ailey.

1/ The level they call a class, says nothing about the level of the class. I've been in a beginner class, doing frappés on relevé au milieu.... Teachers just do what they want. Some beginner levels are harder than intermediate classes.

2/ I'm trained Vaganova and most NYC teachers didn't like that. I ended up selecting teachers with Russian names only. That worked well.

3/ Classes are full and teachers don't teach. They just tell/demonstrate exercises.
In this situation you can adjust exercises as much as you want. Teachers don't care.

Previously I wrote this on DDN about my classes:

In New York I did ballet classes with
Powell, Silantyev, Hochman, Stavro, Jhung, Wildish, de la Pena, Kunikova

I struggled with the Balanchine based classes. I did RAD as a child and Vaganova in college, but this was new to me. The sequence at the barre is different (confusing if you're not used to it), and au milieu we did 45 minutes pirouettes (on floors that were NOT gliding at all, I couldn't turn! They were sticky and stiff. We have Harlequin floors here as well, but yours are different! Maybe it had to do with the warm weather (making them more soft) and the way of cleaning (making them sticky), but I could hardly make tendus!
And all diagonal work was tombé pas de bourree, glissade, grand jeté or a variation on it.
I find there is more use of the music in Vaganova. In the Balanchine based classed it was only about the rhythm, and it was for some teachers no problem not to listen to the style, or just stop after count 5. Not even finish the exercise with a nice 6 and 7 and 8.

Finis Jhung threw talcum on the part of the floor he used, and then complained about our tendus, not gliding enough. Then, still at the barre, one of the students (middle aged man) walked to Jhung (deep silence in the room), took the talcum bottle and started to ask each of the students: "You want some too?" He got applause from the class!

Powell and Hochman made Vaganova ridiculous = zero points for these men for doing that. Hochman was grumpy and dancing was not allowed in his class. Just technique.

Silantyev was happy with my Vaganova style, he winked a lot at me, 5 points.

Jhung stared at the ceiling for 85 minutes, refusing any eye contact with anyone until the end = zero points.

Wildish came to me and said: "Welcome to our class" before she corrected me = 5 points for her. About my Vaganova style she just said: "I want you do to it differently" = another 5 points for her. She was the only teacher who showed real interest in all of her students, and had real fun in teaching us = 5 points.

Stavro and Kunikova were too fast for me. I could follow, but to really get their class, I should stay with them for at least some weeks. Good teachers, good classes. 5 Points each.

I wanted to do Kirkland, but she just stopped teaching at Steps, de la Pena was her sub. He gave a Balanchine barre, but au milieu he was more Vaganova like, finally something more than just pirouettes. And he used the music!!!
It was his first class with this group/at Steps? and he suddenly said: "I'm sorry, that was teaching what I just did, I know I'm not supposed to do that in a commercial studio, forget it." VERY remarkable remark!!! It could explain the lack of interest from most teachers in their students.
re: adult non-beginner classes in NYC?
By SharonDet
On Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:32 PM
I would highly recommend Dorit Kopel's adv Beginner class at Broadway Dance Center. She actually teaches - not just gives class as Rose correctly observes about many open class "teachers", aka class givers. I really enjoyed Finis's classes at Ailey so I'm wondering if he was having a bad day when Rose took class.

I also like Katherine Sullivan's Adv Beginner class at Steps on Broadway. Like Rose says, don't let the class names fool you - you really can't base the level of the class by it's name - adv beginner in NYC is a challenge!

All of the teachers I have mentioned gave me personal corrections and in a sea of prima ballerinas/gorgeous male danseurs, that is a rarity!

Good luck and have a wonderful trip!!!
re: adult non-beginner classes in NYC?
By miss_anna_dance
On Tue Jul 08, 2014 02:39 PM
Kat Wildish and Dorit Koppell were always my favorites! Definitely stop in for a class with them! I also love Dawn Hillen at BDC... I used to take her class every Sunday morning and it was the best.

Side note - I am surprised to hear that about Hochman - he was my favorite ballet teacher in high school and one of the teachers who inspired me to be the teacher I am today! But I'm 31 now lol who knows?

I'm super jealous, wish I could afford a trip to NYC for dance classes, since I moved from there it's just not the same anywhere else... There really arent places to drop in to take class where I live
re: adult non-beginner classes in NYC?
By Jenerator
On Tue Jul 08, 2014 03:43 PM
we're actually going to NY for the Comic Con. And it's my Long Service Leave and it's my 50th, and I haven't travelled to the US since 2010 and the East Coast for 20 years, so I don't get to travel to the US just for dance classes; if I did, I wouldn't have had to ask this question in the first place!
re: adult non-beginner classes in NYC?
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jul 08, 2014 09:02 PM
Yes, Steps has the widest selection of classes and teachers. Living in NY, I rarely took class there because of the overcrowding alone. If you're coming in for a visit it most likely will be the place you'll want to go because it has the most panache. The only two teachers I'd recommend there (Burmann and Tressor), don't teach your level. Correction: three teachers. Katherine Sullivan is very good, but her class is so crowded that I never could really move which was extremely frustrating.

In terms of teachers at places other than at Steps and other than the ones mentioned, here are a couple of great choices if you're looking for a fantastic class and not necessarily going to a particular place:

1. Peter Frame, Ballet Academy East, 6:00-7:30 PM on Tuesday and Thursday . . .
Fantastic adult class. And he does have famous people dropping in. When I took, Zachary Catazaro stood on the other side of the barre (yes, I'm old, but man did I notice! *drool*)

2. Kenny Larson, Ballet Arts, 7:00-8:30 M-F and on Sunday
Love Kenn Larson's class. Very challenging, but not so much that you'll want to throw yourself under a bus. You really get a workout and the studio at Carnegie Hall is one of the best in NYC. It used to be a masonic hall and it is gorgeous and huge! Never a problem moving full out. . . .

Ludmilia Raianova also teaches there, but I think her classes may be a tad fast which is a shame because she's the real deal.

Hope you have a great time! It's a fabulous city. :)


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