Founded in 2002, Brooklyn Ballet's mission is to create ballets flush with artistic excellence and innovation that delight audience members. With this goal in mind, the not-for-profit professional dance company works with writers, visual artists, and even hackers to design pieces that are reflective of Brooklyn's diverse communities. Before dancers hit the stage, they can get their reps in at the downtown state-of-the-art studio, which features a column-free dance space, wood-sprung floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows. And for those who just want to hone their skills without brining them on stage, the instructors lead recreational classes for adults and kids.
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.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Though they hail from all over the world, the instructors at Bellyqueen are united by their passion for belly dance. Their dedication to the Middle Eastern art?and their eagerness to educate others about the empowering, often misunderstood dance form?led co-founder Kaeshi Chai to established their own bellydancing company and school in the East Village. Kaeshi's enthusiasm has caught on?since opening in 1998, Bellyqueen has gained acclaim for its unconventional workouts welcoming participants of all sizes and skill levels.
Today, the bustling studio continues to teach traditional bellydancing techniques while incorporating world-fusion styles. Experienced instructors guide guests through the sensual movements, encouraging them as they practice footwork, breath, and presentation. When they aren?t fine-tuning their routines to eyeball-enticing perfection, students can watch Bellyqueen?s professional dancers perform at weekly Djam NYC shows at Jebon and special events.
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]]