CriticalDance Forum

Ballet in Los Angeles?
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Author:  Etoilebleue [ Sat Mar 11, 2006 4:42 am ]
Post subject:  Ballet in Los Angeles?

Hi there everyone! This is my first post on this forum. I'm looking for a bit of advice, I hope I posted in the right place.

I recently relocated to the Los Angeles area and am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for good intermediate/advanced classes. I'm 23 so I am preferrably looking for a class with people close to my age, but obviously in the end the only thing that matters is that they are quality classes.

The problem I've encoutered with the classes I've taken or places I've inquired at so far seems to be that I'm somewhere in "the wedge", as I call it. Either I'm too old for the pre-professional program and they won't let me sign up for it even if it is the only appropriate level for me, or I get put in these classes with people twice my age who act like they don't really want me there and who are significantly below me in level, with no desire to dance en pointe, perform, or take classes more than once a week.

The studio I left back home was amazing in that it didn't separate by age level- just ability. So in my advanced class were people anywhere between ages 12 and 40, and it worked great because everyone was at the same level and wanted to learn and do the same things. I'm not finding anything similar out here and I really haven't enjoyed any of the classes I've taken because it's always been the wrong fit. It's really making me not want to dance at all.

Ideally what I am looking for is a *serious* class, adult or not, that meets at least 3 times a week, that does pointe work and repertory, and gets to audition for at least bi-yearly shows (not recitals). Is that too much to ask for in L.A. if you're not gearing up to be a professional? I really have no interest in that, and never have. I've been dancing since I was 6 and have never wanted more than to just keep dancing for myself. But it seems like that's getting to be impossible now.

If *anyone* has any reccommendations as to schools I could look into that might provide what I'm looking for, please let me know. I'm getting to the point where I haven't danced in weeks and right now don't know if I ever will get to again. I appreciate any guidance anyone may provide.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:04 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi Etoile and welcome to CriticalDance - hope we hear from you regularly.

Here are links to a couple of topics from some time ago that refer to schools in LA. These are from a time when we had a different style of Board and they are not the easiest to read now and the links won't work directly. But you can copy and paste the links in the individual postings:

I hope some of our California folk can respond on the current situation.

Author:  Etoilebleue [ Sat Mar 11, 2006 4:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi, thanks for the response! The only problem with the schools mentioned in the two threads is that the original posters are specifically looking for beginning adult classes, which is sadly *all* I seem to find, and specifically the opposite of what I'm looking for. I did see a mention for Westside Ballet though, which I had been meaning to contact for a few days since I stumbled upon their site and saw they had adult intermediate/advanced classes 4 times a week, so I think I'm going to get to that. If it works out I'll report back on it for anyone who might be searching for something similar to what I need in the future.

I will also wait to see if anyone else has other suggestions, it never hurts. Thanks for the welcome, and I will definitely be here to take part in discussions from now on! :)

Author:  Fairwind [ Sat Mar 11, 2006 7:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

Westside Ballet is a great place to take adult classes of all levels. They have a pianist and the quality of classes is excellent. Nadar's classes are solid and a wide range of intermediate to professional level dancers take them. Many adults also like Stefan Wenta's classes. If you google search his name, you will find his web site that lists his classes and location. Another teacher that offers great adult classes is Reid Olsen. He teaches at Dance Arts Academy on Monday, tuesday and Thursday at 11:30 am and Saturdays at both 9:30 and 11:00 am. Enjoy! (My daughter is a pro and she takes from all of the above when she is in town)

Author:  Etoilebleue [ Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks so much for the feedback and further suggestions, Fairwind! I will google all of these and most likely check them all out.

One further question I you know if *any* studios allow their adult students to audition and take part in their shows? I was looking at reviews for Westside's Nutcracker and it said the cast ranges in age from 8-18, which would mean that I, at 23, wouldn't have a chance to perform through the school, unless I wanted to be a party guest, or something. Although I don't have any delusions of grandeur, I think I'm better than being a decoration piece, and while I definitely wouldn't be opposed to helping out (since those types of roles are usually hard to fill) and be a party guest or other miscellaneous part, I'd also like to know I can audition and have a chance at also getting cast in at least corps roles in the second acts and such.

I'd really like to keep performing, and preferrably work with the studio I attend rather than seek out audition notices every 6 months. But the more reputable the school I seek, the more likely they are to only choose from their pre-professional levels, I'm guessing? That's another thing I never had to worry about at my old studio back home, I always got cast in amazing parts in amazing shows. But it was a small studio with its own non-professional company which I was a part of, so obviously there wasn't anywhere near as much competition.

Any thoughts on this whole issue would be greatly appreciated. If I'm over-ambitious thinking I'll be able to get good performing roles through a studio out here the way I could back home, I'd like someone to tell me so I don't keep endlessly looking for something I won't find. I'll call all these schools Fairwind mentioned and see where they stand on the issue of casting from their adult classes as well.

Author:  Gina Ness [ Sun Mar 12, 2006 1:12 am ]
Post subject: 

Hello Etoilebleue...How about Ballet Pacifica in Irvine? It appears that they may have open morning classes that might fit the bill...

Author:  Fairwind [ Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

I did not realize, Etoilebleue, that you were wanting a performance venue as well. Ballet Pacifica does have adult classes. They are starting a company there, but it seems to be a 'formal process' of hiring dancers to my understanding. Another school with a company is Inland Pacific Ballet.

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