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10 Great Places to Dance in NYC

Cumbe Fela class Shakira Marshall teaches a 'Fela' master class at Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance. Photo by Dominique Taylor.

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

New York City is certainly one of the world’s dance hubs. Thousands of dancers, teachers and choreographers transplant themselves to this center of creativity. That means, then, that there are almost infinite possibilities – so many studios that offer different classes, workshops and intensives all over the city. And there really is something for every dancer’s interest. Here are 10 of some of the best places to dance in NYC. Check them out, try something new and enjoy class!

126 E. 13th St., between 3rd and 4th Avenue

Peridance Capezio Center, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, offers over 250 classes a week, with a broad range of styles, including ballet, Limón, African-based, contemporary and body conditioning. Peridance also has an International Student Program, a Two-Year Certificate Program, a school for young dancers and teacher training programs. In addition, The Center is home to the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, which tours internationally and is led by Artistic Director Igal Perry. Peridance also offers week-long workshops with current contemporary choreographers, often with audition opportunities. Students, faculty members and companies may also perform in the converted theater, Salvatore Capezio Theater. Class rates are $18 per class, with Equity/Union discounts and class card series.

2121 Broadway, at 74th St.

Steps on Broadway was founded in 1971 and continues to be the one of the leading studios, with classes running all day in its 10 sprung-floored studios, with even a studio theater that offers performances. Top professional dancers from companies such as New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater can be seen in morning ballet classes nearly every day, and workshops led by current contemporary choreographers rotate throughout the year. Steps offers a Work-Study Program and International Student Visa Program, and is also home to the School at Steps for young dancers; Steps Beyond, with performance opportunities and an Artist Talks Series; and the Steps Repertory Ensemble, the studio’s resident contemporary dance company. Class rates are $18 per class, with class package deals and discounts for professionals. Be sure to look out for the “class of the week”, a $12 class that is revealed 48 hours ahead of class time via a code on the Steps twitter page (

322 W. 45th St., between 8th and 9th Avenue

Broadway Dance Center (BDC), located just blocks from Manhattan’s Theater District, home to numerous Broadway shows, offers classes in just about every style in the book – from ballet to Broadway jazz, yoga to waacking. Established in 1984, BDC’s faculty consists of master teachers, seasoned professionals and current top dancers. The studio also offers a Children’s and Teen Program, International Student Visa Program, Summer Intern Program and Work-Study Program, as well as a series of ongoing workshops, including Absolute Beginner Workshops and the Rockette Experience. BDC also offers various master classes taught by company members in prestigious companies such as Parsons Dance and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Class rates are $18 per class, with package deals and also discounts for Union members and seniors. Class levels range from basic beginner to advanced professional.

405 W. 55th St., at 9th Avenue

The Ailey Extension, based in the sunny and spacious Joan Weill Center for Dance, also home to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, aims to make dance accessible to everyone, regardless of age and prior experience. The Ailey Extension offers classes of all levels in disciplines such as Horton, Afro-Caribbean, Capoeira, Middle Eastern, ballet, Salsa and more. Within the studio is The Ailey School, with a professional division, junior division and BFA partnership with neighboring Fordham University. Public classes at The Ailey Extension are $16.50 per class, with class card package deals and a “two classes for $25” offer for new students.

3 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn

A short subway ride into Brooklyn, The Mark Morris Dance Center houses seven column-free, sprung-floored studios that offer children’s classes and also open classes for students of all ages. Disciplines include ballet, modern, tap and bodywork, and classes are sometimes taught by company members of the Mark Morris Dance Group. Depending on class length, prices can range from $10 to $16 per class for drop-ins, and class card series are also available.

130 W. 56th St., between 6th and 7th Avenue

The second oldest dance school in NYC (behind the School of American Ballet), Ballet Arts was founded in 1937 and now finds its home in the sixth-floor spacious studio at City Center. Ballet Arts offers numerous daily ballet classes of all levels, along with classes in Gyrokinesis, alignment, voice and theater dance. The studio can also transform into a theater, where faculty and student productions are held multiple times throughout the year. On the lower scale for NYC dance studios, classes at Ballet Arts are $15, with a $14 Union rate and also the option of a class card deal, but students should note that only cash and checks are accepted.

248 W. 60th St., between 10th and 11th Avenue

Manhattan Movement and Arts Center (MMAC), located southwest of Lincoln Center, was established in 2008 as a studio for daily adult dance and fitness classes, home to the Manhattan Youth Ballet and venue for a performance theater. Students can also attend workshops and master classes led by instructors such as American Ballet Theater stars Maxim Beloserkovsky and Irina Dvorovenko (former principal ballerina). In addition, MMAC offers an International Student Visa Program. Class rates are $15 for drop-ins, a $13 Union/professional rate and class card package deals.

244 W. 54th St., between Broadway and 8th Avenue

A brand new studio in a convenient midtown location, The Dance Center, directed by Kat Wildish, master ballet teacher, offers daily classes in styles such as ballet, pointe, tap, floor barre and core therapy. The Dance Center currently has two sprung-floored studios, with possible room for growth. The studio is also home to Wildish’s Repertory Workshop, a performance opportunity for adults and all dancers, which performs a few times per year at the nearby Ailey Citigroup Theater. The Dance Center is currently offering a new student introduction rate of 10 classes for $150, to be purchased by October 31, 2013.

434 Avenue of the Americas, between 9th and 10th St

The Joffrey Ballet School was founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino. The school has a strong pre-professional program, where students take classes in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip hop and character, in an effort to create versatile dancers. Joffrey offers a Ballet Trainee Program in addition to a Jazz Trainee Program, and the school also hosts an intensive summer program in the NYC studio as well as in other cities throughout the country. Joffrey also has an Adult Program, with classes in ballet and core conditioning that are open to all students, regardless of prior training. Drop-in rates for open classes are $17, or $12 for core synergy conditioning, and class card series are also available.

558 Fulton St., Brooklyn

Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance is a unique new studio that offers a full schedule of classes in cultural dances from Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean. Located in Downtown Brooklyn, Cumbe has classes for children and teens, special workshops in some traditional song and dance, dance parties, percussion classes and dance classes. Students can study West African, Samba, Haitian, Afro-Cuban, Dancehall/Reggae and much more. Drop-ins are welcome, and class prices range from $13.50 to $15, depending on class time. There are also discounts for seniors ($11 per class) and class card options.