Got an email the other day,
Somebody moving to Los Angeles, looking for recommendations on where to take ballet.
And it got me thinking, because I’d just done this post about the big places to take ballet class in New York, like the big deal, Make A Pilgrimage type places, and it occured to me that LA is just not the same.
I mean, sure, I could say (and did say):
West Side Ballet
Dance Arts Academy
Align Ballet Method *
because these are all great places and I hope to someday take class at all of them,
But I don’t get the sense that they hold the same Mythological Power as, like, Steps just for example.
I mean, maybe this is just me but I don’t feel like anyone would be like, “Oh. My. God. You took class at Millineum?! OhMyGawd what was it like tell me Everything!!!!!”
Which is why I also advised the email-er to find out where she’ll be living, and then find out what’s close by.
Because one of the cool things about LA is that we have amazing teachers with crazy awesome pedigrees who sometimes, against all probability, teach out of small, glamour-free, under-advertised studios because who knows why that’s just how they do.
So unless you’re looking to go pro and you need the polish and networking of a big, famous studio, my advice for ballet class shopping in LA is: try out lots of places near where you live or work, establish a home base, save the treks to further-flung-but-famous places for less trafficky times like weekend mornings, or a weekday if you’re lucky enough to have a day off work.
After all, driving is a reality in Los Angeles, and it is no fun to sit in stop-and-go traffic for an hour while the rigor mortis sets in as you cool down from that awesome class, amiright Angelenos?
So anyway, Gentle Reader, I’m curious, am I just not in the know here? Does Los Angeles have one particular big mamajama studio to rival Steps?
Do other people shop by location?
and What amazing LA studios have I missed?
* party people in the house: this here is a new inclusion as of 11/7/12. Michael Cornell’s Align Ballet Method is specifically focused on teaching adult beginners, which is very awesome, and his classes include that rarest of animals: the beginners class, taught as a series not a drop-in, that is truly For Beginners.
And for people who need a major refresher.
Which might be me after this whole baby thing.
Full disclosure: I’m listing Align here and now because 1. I totally love the focus on adult beginners, and B. Mr. Cornell contacted me and asked to be included, and I am flattered.
** edit August 14 2014
Go see this page for totally real talk reviews of adult ballet classes in Los Angeles.