Drop-in ballet classes in or near Somerville, MA
January 8, 2011 11:13 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for drop-in ballet classes in the Somerville, MA area.

I've done a little research on local dance studios but so far am only finding places where you pay by the month - if one of these is particularly awesome, I'd be interested in hearing about it too, but ideally I'm looking for somewhere you can pay by the class, or buy a card for x number of classes to use whenever. I have a somewhat erratic schedule, and as a broke grad student I don't want to pay for classes I'm not using.* I'm probably looking for a class at an "advanced beginner" level (although it's sometimes hard to tell what levels will mean in the classroom - basically, I have years of experience but only pretty sporadically, and no pointe). Additionally, I have a bum left arm that will never reach fifth position again, so a teacher who will be cool about that would be good. (Basically, I'm homesick for Joy of Motion in DC - anything similar to that would be great.)
I'm located in Teele Square and open to anything in the Somerville/Medford/Arlington/Cambridge area.

*Side note: there are dance classes at my university, but I can't take classes that are outside of my program without paying extra - and also I would have to sign up for the whole semester. This is a back-up plan I'm considering but it is definitely not ideal.
posted by naoko to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm pretty sure the Dance Complex in Central Square offers this, though I don't have any direct experience with their classes.
posted by cider at 11:31 AM on January 8, 2011

Best answer: The Dance Complex is AWESOME. Definitely check it out! And if anyone knows something as awesome as the Dance Complex in NYC... :)
posted by sweetkid at 11:35 AM on January 8, 2011

Best answer: Thirding the Dance Complex. A friend and I used to go to advanced-beginner ballet classes there - the teachers were all very good about accommodating my friend's knee and elbow problems. I should note, though, that it was a little overwhelming at first: everyone had really solid technique, many of the students came regularly and so the combinations had less introduction than in other non-series ballet classes, etc.

Also: My former roommate was a serious dancer who had taken classes at several studios; her favorite ballet class was at Green Street Studios, also in Central Square.
posted by Signed Sealed Delivered at 1:05 PM on January 8, 2011

Best answer: Another option is Fresh Pond Ballet in Porter Square. A friend and I went to some Intro-Int. level classes a couple years ago. You would likely want the Intermediate/Advanced classes, as the Intro was definitely aimed at people with little or no experience/talent (I took ballet casually as a child but am completely ungraceful now, for reference). The owner/instructor was very nice, and will definitely be ok with your arm. And, you can pay for classes individually or buy a card.
posted by dormouse at 1:51 PM on January 8, 2011

Best answer: Also in Cambridge is José Mateo Ballet Theater. The studio is in a converted church and is also on Mass ave but closer to Harvard Sq and has single classes with a 'card' option. He puts on a dance festival in the summer that shows a huge range of dance groups around the area from semi-pro to wheel chair bound, so I'm sure any physical issues would, well not be an issue.

I certainly nth both the Dance Complex and Green Street.
posted by sammyo at 2:22 PM on January 8, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody! I plan to try out all or most of these over the next few weeks and see how it goes (although my school schedule for the semester may end up being a deciding factor too, sigh). I went to Dance Complex today and had a pretty good time - the teacher was very chill and the class was butt-kicking without being completely impossible (I kind of gave up on the last combination - I'm not up on my saut de basques - but otherwise I muddled along ok). The class was pretty big, but I imagine it may shrink a bit after the New Year's resolution workout flurry dies down (but not me, no, I will stay resolved!!). I'm going to keep checking out the rest of the options, but this was definitely a very solid start and I could definitely see myself going back. Thank you again!
posted by naoko at 6:02 PM on January 9, 2011

Response by poster: For anyone checking back on this thread later, I wanted to follow up again and say that I have now also been to Fresh Pond Ballet - I went to the Intro/Intermediate class (because it fit with my schedule) which was, as described above, very basic, but still enjoyable because it gave me the opportunity to really focus on my alignment and stuff rather than scrambling to pick up complicated combinations. The teacher is very sweet and understanding and it was a very small class - I think it was 6 people - which feels very comfortable and not intimidating (compared to the much larger class at Dance Complex). I would love to try out Green Street too but unfortunately I don't think their classes are going to fit with my schedule for this semester. I may still check out Jose Mateo.
For anyone going to Fresh Pond in the future, I recommend bringing a yoga mat - there are some floor stretches between barre and center work, and most other students will have brought one (although the studio has a couple extras). Another random thing I wanted to note is that Dance Complex has a pianist rather than a stereo, which will make you feel totally professional and fancy.
posted by naoko at 7:52 PM on January 27, 2011

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