Catering to aspiring dancers as young as 18 months, A Dance Place offers lessons in a non-competitive friendly environment to help build youngsters confidence and self-esteem. The littlest dancers can take part in mommy and me classes or creative movement sessions, which instill them with a love of physical expression. Ballet, tap, and hip-hop lessons, meanwhile, allow pupils to delve into more specialized disciplines.
Edie Ollwerther grew up a touring dancer, with television and teaching credits to her name. When she married, she took a break—but it wasn't long before neighborhood parents knew of her history in dance. They encouraged her to begin giving lessons to their children, and Edie obliged by transforming her basement into a studio space.
That was in the 1970s. Today, Edie and her fellow instructors—some of whom are former students, now grown—act as the heads of a continually growing family of dancers. Their curriculum encompasses tap, jazz, ballet, and musical theater, as well as vocal coaching and hip-hop routines. Some of their pupils learn to shimmy as a hobby, and others aim to join the competition team, whose performances have taken them to Disney World and aboard a Carnival Cruise ship.
The American Classical Orchestra safeguards the repertoire of 17th- to 19th-century composers, escorting venerable works into the future upon the notes of original and reproduction period instruments. Under the direction of Maestro Thomas Crawford and his onstage airboat, the ensemble's production of Wind Power breezes across Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Trumpets, and Telemann's Concerto in D, featuring dynamic and energetic Mexican recorder guru Horacio Franco. A pre-performance lecture at 7 p.m. offers to warm up ears with toasty educational tidbits. Mezzanine and balcony seating grants guests unobstructed views of the action inside the NYSEC Hall, which harbors more than 100 years of history within its storied walls.
A comprehensive dance and movement facility, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center provides movers and shakers of all sorts a space for learning, rehearsing, and performing. MMAC classes are taught by renowned dance educators and dancing queens in obstruction-free studios, which are equipped with sprung floors and kept fastidiously free of rhythmically challenged Godzillas who “borrow” classmates’ leg warmers and return them all stretched out.