Ballet at Hollywood Wilshire YMCA

Review by: Adult Beginner
Class is called: Ballet
Where: the Hollywood YMCA 
Website: ymcala.org/hollywood
How it is:
The barre in this class really works articulation of the feet. One neat thing we did involved coming to a demi-pointe on the working foot and then doing a quick motion to come to full pointe in the air, and we were encouraged to make it a quick! sharp! tiny! controlled! flick! kind of motion and it was really specific and small and very difficult actually and kind of exciting, like I could really see the difference between the mush I was achieving and the sharp snap I can work toward.
This class has a very flowy feeling. People say that dance is in the space between the steps, and this is a really neat class for feeling like you are getting into that space: the barre, center, all of it is like a dance.
An absolute beginner or True Beginner would do fine following along in this class, more experienced people would get in some good refinement time.
Odd room though. Dim lighting and low ceilings. Pretty sure it was designed with yoga in mind. So don’t wear your t-shirt that says BIG JUMPS OR GTFO. No big jumps here.
Regarding the strange lighting situation, one fun bonus is that it’s possible to very casually, as if it’s not even on purpose, position yourself directly within your own personal spotlight. I mean, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Class Size: 5 or so
Age Range: 30’s up
Amenities: This is a YMCA, so all the regular YMCA stuff is here. Locker room, showers, gym, childcare, water fountains, pool. Parking sucks because Hollywood, but there are three parking lots right there that charge an extremely small fee with YMCA validation. I think it was like a dollar.
Also fun about this being Hollywood: all kinds of interesting conversations to listen in on while walking from your car. Like the one dude I overheard screaming into his phone, “I don’t want to hear about it! I just want you to buy it!” What was he yelling about? A sandwich? A script? An island? Everyone is wearing workout gear, at a glance you can’t tell the sandwich-screamers from the island-screamers. Hooray for Hollywood!
Any Dudes? none that day
What to wear: Work-out stuff. Sweats, leggings, tanks, sports bras. Socks or slippers. Didn’t see any pink tights although one lady had a really beautiful tulle skirt and the teacher wore a crushed velvet biketard with an intricate back that showed off a contrasting-color leotard underneath.
In conclusion: This class is about articulation and lyricism. The vibe is friendly, gentle, and welcoming.
As far as I can tell, this is the only YMCA in LA that offers ballet for adults, and it’s not just one class either— there are daytime, evening, and weekend adult ballet classes with two different teachers. So if you’re a YMCA member, get in there and take advantage of it.

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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17 Responses to Ballet at Hollywood Wilshire YMCA

  1. Gina says:

    The beautiful tulle skirt? Please share details and or quick sketch? I’d love a really beautiful tulle skirt to wear to class! Maybe I can whip one up from your description! Thanks! Love your blog!

    • Very similar to this one in color, softness of hand, layered opacity, and satin waistband but shorter, about mid-thigh.

      • Gina says:

        That is truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Interesting how it’s lined and not recommended for dancewear!

        • I’m thinking red scoop-neck t-shirt and white converse sneakers. That’s how I’d wear it. I had forgotten that it’s not dancewear until I went and found it to link for you!
          If you end up making a skirt for class I think the main thing is to use a soft fabric that drapes, like this skirt, instead of anything stiff. Soft looks romantic, stiff looks costume-y. IMO.

  2. So did you position yourself under the spotlight or were you just noticing that someone else was lit up? I’m cracking up here.

  3. kitteacat says:

    Now I feel as though I require a personal spotlight in my regular class. Excuse me while I brainstorm how to achieve this . . .

  4. asher says:

    That sounds like the best YMCA on earth! Also, the class sounds great, personal spotlights and all :) Flow is so important and sometimes seems to go neglected in adult ballet classes. The past six jump-free weeks have been an eye-opener for me: not being able to jump has forced me to focus on flow and lines and balance, and I suspect it’s improved my dancing white a bit as a whole.

    • Six weeks without jumps, I bet that’s been both frustrating and really good for you.
      And yeah, that YMCA is something. I looked at its reviews on yelp while researching, and a lot of them were people complaining about towel-service being discontinued, and I was like Wow, in what alternate universe does a YMCA have towel service?

  5. asher says:

    *quite a bit >.<

  6. Hi, I’m an Angelina and just wanted to let you know that the downtown (Ketchum) YMCA also has ballet as does the ktown (Anderson-munger) YMCA. Thankfully the dtla Y still has towel service, lol, I couldn’t live without that.

    The dtla ballet classes are during the day and the ktown ones are in the evening–ktown is extremely crowded and filled with pushy ajummas so I haven’t braved a class there yet (you need to show up half an hour beforehand and get a slip).

    I just casually started ballet classes at the dtla Y this week and to my surprise, really enjoyed it (ordered some ballet shoes right away). Then I discovered this blog and others–they are so encouraging! And your list of L.A. ballet classes is handy.

    Thank you!

  7. Jennifer says:

    Hi, Was wondering which instructor’s class you attended at H’wood Wilshire so I know which focuses on lyricism & flow. YMCA LA’s been offering free 7-day passes the last couple of months!

    On a separate note: Ballet at YMCA Ketchum – the Thursday ballet class there is actually taught be Sarah who you reviewed under StudioA. Her energy’s very inviting!

    Thanks a bunch!

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