by Kendra Ralston
We have been teaching Salsa in NYC (and across the globe) for almost 10 years and are happy to have partnered with two formidable dance companies in New York City. The first, Peridance Capezio Center, is open to all styles and levels that teaches in a nurturing and encouraging environment. The second, The Ailey Extension, part of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, boasts “real classes for real people”, and shares African-American cultural expression, modern dance and SALSA with the world. We are proud to call both home and to also highlight their spots on TimeOut NY’s list of best dance studios.
Now that we’ve discovered some of the best dance studios in New York City, what are the best dance classes you should be taking (besides ours, obviously)?
Finding different dance classes can feel intimidating in one of the best dance capitals of the world, but these studios offer a range of classes that are approachable, intense, and fun. While you’ll find professional dancers scurrying from class to rehearsal, you can also find business professionals, students, and people just looking to enjoy and learn dance. From hip hop to contemporary, heels to ballet, here are our favorite classes being offered at the Peridance Capezio Center and Ailey extension.
1. Djoniba Dance Centre (Peridance)
Founded and directed by Djoniba Mouflet, this African-based dance company strives to “bridge the gap between all ages, races and cultures through world dance and music.” Djoniba provides dance classes that incorporate aspects of African dance, salsa, hip hop, martial arts, and more. Whether you’re interested in finding fitness, learning steps, or discovering different cultural dances through live drumming, you’ll discover an upbeat and engaging class that will leave you revitalized and ready for more.
2. Danielle Polanco, Heels (Peridance)
Danielle Polanco, a dancer, choreographer, voguer, and instructor, boasts an impressive resume, having worked with Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Fergie, and Janet Jackson. And now she offers group classes for heels. Yes, heels: Long, stiletto heels that range from 3 1/2 – 4 ½ inches. This class will not only help you gain confidence in your walk, movements, and choreography, it will help translate your inner sexiness to your everyday life.
3. Dancehall w/ Korie Genius (Peridance)
Dancehall is a genre of Jamaican popular music that developed in the late 1970s. At Peridance, Korie Genius makes his classes accessible to all levels by incorporating simple grooves with more complex choreography. Looking to find your groove, discover new body isolations, or just have fun? Start here.
Mondays & Wednesdays 5:30-7:00pm
4. Beginner Samba/Afro Brazilian (Ailey)
At the Ailey Extension, take a class with Quenia Ribeiro, who offers a basic Brazilian dance class that incorporates Afro Brazilian roots with the rhythms of Brazilian samba. Warmup includes elements from yoga, pilates, and ballet to prepare students to explore movement and utilize these body isolations for the remainder of class. This particular class focuses on samba from Rio de Janeiro, and it does not disappoint. With live drummers and constant movement, Ribeiro transports you to Brazil through movement and music.
5) World Jazz w/ Cecilia Marta (Ailey)
Take a class with the incredible Cecilia Marta, a prolific dancer, choreographer, and instructor who has taught her style of World Jazz in both the U.S. and abroad. With “nuances of earthy funk and soul”, Marta’s style infuses contemporary and ballet techniques with Latin roots to create this World Jazz feel. Find your movement, your attitude, and your dance style with Cecilia Marta.
6) Contemporary Jazz (Ailey)
We couldn’t leave a little contemporary off of our list—in this case, contemporary jazz. This class offers a fusion of modern, jazz, and ballet that explores modern movement combined with classical technique. Incorporating an organic approach, this class focuses on the controlled legwork of ballet while incorporating modern footwork and movement. Looking for your first foray into the dance world, or have your basics down and want further instruction? You’re in luck—this class ranges from beginner to advanced.