Philadelphia is thriving with dance. Stroll down the Avenue of the Arts and you will pass by a dozen art venues, theaters and dance studios. Are you inspired by street dancers outside of Wawa, or want to learn a new style of dance?
If you are interested in taking a dance class, check out these five studios in Philadelphia that offer classes in various styles of dance for all ages and ability levels.
Ms. Carol’s Center for Dance
Also known as CCD, Ms. Carol’s Center for Dance is named in memory of the founder, Carol Cubbage Davis. CCD offers classes for all levels and ages in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop and acrobatics Monday thru Saturday at 6249 Market St.
CCD also hosts a training program, a pre-professional company, Grace 2, and a professional dance company, Grace Dance Theater.
“We do not discriminate against ability or age here,” Ebony James, a ballet teacher and a member of Grace Dance Theater says. “However, we do follow a strict dress code and emphasize discipline in the studio.”
James stresses the importance of young students using dance as a creative outlet and as a way to keep them off of the streets.
Eleone Dance Unlimited
Eleone’s mission is to push students past their boundaries, celebrate life through dance and inspire others to do the same. Eleone Dance Unlimited, at 1312 S. Juniper St., trains dancers of all levels and ages in ballet, hip-hop, pointe, jazz, modern, Horton, praise and acro. Students who wish to pursue more rigorous training have the opportunity to train in four different programs, Eleone Children’s Ensemble, Eleone Expose, Eleone Connection (pre-professional company) and Eleone Dance Theatre, one of Philadelphia’s top ranked modern dance companies.
Artistic Director Shawn-Lamere Williams said, “We provide great training to those dancers who are serious about having a dance career.”
Headlong, a dance and theater company in South Philadelphia at 1170 S. Broad St., fuses contemporary methods, such as contact improvisation and release technique, to create original choreography scores for dancers of all experience levels. Headlong has performed both nationally and internationally and encourages site specific work outside of the studio. Students can rent out studio space or take classes in ballet, capoeira and many more styles.
Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers is the home of one of Philadelphia’s greatest contemporary dance companies. Founded by Taiwan native Kun-Yang Lin, KYL/D holds open company class Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 12:30-2 p.m. at 1316 S. 9th St.
These classes are taught by company members and require a pre-professional/professional skill level. If choreography seems more appealing to you, come see KYL/D’s Inhale Series featuring work from Philadelphia’s up and coming choreographers.
The Rock School
The Rock School offers some of the strongest ballet training in Philadelphia. Students who attend the Rock School, at 1101 S. Broad St., often win titles at national and international ballet conferences.
Classes in ballet, pointe and hip-hop are offered weekly for children and adults. Dance Playground, a class for parent’s and kids, is also offered. The Rock School holds summer intensives in ballet, contemporary dance and choreography. Boys ages 3-11 have the opportunity to attend the Rock School for free.
-Text and images by Meghan McFerran.