Opera in New York City

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Roshelle “Rocky” Wilder, NYC Dance Arts’ founding director, began dancing and choreographing dance pieces when she was still in high school. She has performed with underground hip-hop artists such as Denzil Porter, Deena Jones, and The Future, and her students at NYC Dance Arts have performed on Broadway, earning mention from ExpertsColumn.com.. With a team of teachers, Wilder guides students through the steps of contemporary hip-hop, classical ballet, heart-healthy Zumba, and other dance-centric classes.

Ballet classes boost students’ balance, concentration, and coordination while strengthening core muscles. Modern/contemporary dance rebels against the traditional aesthetic of classical ballet with abstract, emotive movements—or by cutting class, sneaking out, and taking the works of Jean-Paul Sartre very seriously. Break dance 101 introduces students to urban street dance, focusing on inspiration and creativity. Yoga fitness classes combine a cardio workout with deep-breathing exercises and yoga poses. In addition to regular classes, NYC Dance Arts offers special workshops with visiting choreographers and professional dancers, and organizes dance flash mobs—groups of dancers who meet in a public place to perform a dance routine.

58 East 11th Street
New York,
NY
US

The spirit of Russian Imperial Ballet–legend Olga Preobrajenska jetés over the New York Conservatory of Dance. Founder Vladimir Dokoudovsky—a Monaco-born dancer who worked extensively in Paris before arriving in New York—picked up Preobrajenska's philosophy of pure lines and elegant movements through close study with her at the École des Beaux-Arts. Though Dokoudovsky passed away in 1998, the conservatory is now overseen by his widow Patricia Heyes Dokoudovsky, who focuses especially on bringing classical ballet to adult beginners.

The Conservatory's studio is as stately as its lineage. Dark wood embraces its double-decker space beneath pendant lamps hanging from 28-foot ceilings, with a mezzanine for watching the dancers below and getting a look at the complicated system of pins and pulleys that hold each bun in place.:m]]

30 E 31st St
New York,
NY
US

Traditionally, families gather around the Christmas tree to open presents––but at the American Cancer Society Christmas Fantasy House, individual traditions are magnified. The 2009 house, for example, featured not one but five Christmas trees, each draped in ribbons and white lights. Other years' open houses have featured a jolly Santa Claus, dining room chairs hung with pinecone wreaths, and flower-festooned light fixtures. Visitors not only peruse the Christmas-themed home for charity, they can also shop for sweets or enter holiday-themed raffles.

Proceeds from the event go to the American Cancer Society, a volunteer-based program that reaches 3,400 communities nationwide. The ACS supports research, education, advocacy for all types of cancer, and helps a large number of cancer patients, offering phone counseling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

126 4th Ave
New York,
NY
US

Sheena Larsen wasn’t that familiar with latin dance, but that didn’t stop the then-high-schooler from entering a salsa competition at a local dance club. As it turned out, her confidence was warranted: Larsen and her partner walked away with first prize. And Larsen was hooked.

Today, Larsen shares her love of latin dance at Step Into Salsa, the studio she cofounded with Cesar Carrasco in 2010. Along with a team of instructors, she leads students of all levels through the rhythmic undulations of salsa, Zumba, and bachata dance. She structures the classes in four-week cycles that build on lessons learned in each class, ensuring that students can answer basic questions including “what is the difference between salsa and mambo?” and “how many does it take to tango?”

500 8th Ave
New York,
NY
US

Beer, wine and comedy at a cheap price? No wonder so many people pack Chelsea’s Magnet Theater daily. Shows here run the gamut from long form improv and scripted sketch comedy to storytelling and a variety of free performance opportunities for anyone willing to get on stage. Shows at the Magnet never seem to top $10, and are often free. The 70-odd seats don’t make for a very big venue, but that also means there isn't a bad spot in the house, and you’ll have a perfect sightline the next time some celebrity drops in to perform. Classes in improv, storytelling and comedy writing are also offered at the Training Center Studio, one block north. If you’re looking for a cheap laugh, or want to inspire it in others, the Magnet is a great place to start.

254 W 29th St
New York,
NY
US

Founded by philosopher, playwright, and actor Johannes Galli, the Galli Theater celebrates childhood and strives to help its actors and audiences reveal their true selves with modern adaptations of fairy tales. Each year the nonprofit organization produces more than eight family-friendly productions designed to "help participants gain self-confidence, learn new languages and cultures, improve acting skills, and increase health and wellness," according to its website. With performances of well-known and widely loved titles such as Aladdin, The Princess and the Pea, and Snow White, both audiences and actors leave each show having learned valuable life lessons and different clapping styles.

347 W 36th St
New York,
NY
US