Dancing Off The Street


If you long to break out of your treadmill-and-yoga routine to break a sweat, or if you watch Fame and Flashdance far more often than you’d like to admit–this one’s for you. Brooklyn is home to many professionally trained dancers, many of whom set up studios close to home. Whether you want to brush up on long-forgotten childhood skills or just a fun way to unwind after toiling away at a desk job, here’s our round up of dance studios in Brooklyn with drop-in classes and workshops for adults.

Mark Morris Dance Group is probably the most well-known of the bunch. They offer a full range of classes, either workshops–a 6-week series of classes–or drop-in with no pre-registration required. Workshops include ballet, tap, hip hop, modern, tango, and salsa. The Jan/Feb workshop session is already half over, so check out their drop-in classes, which include ballet, Afr0-Caribbean, rhythm and motion, West African, and belly dancing. For the history buffs and period movie lovers out there, members from the New York Baroque Dance Company teach classes in specific types of 18th Century dance accompanied by live music on the first Saturday of each month (gigue is this Saturday, February 6, from 3-4:30pm) at Mark Morris. 3 Lafayette Avenue, across from BAM, (718) 624-8400.

Spoke the Hub was started by long-time Brooklynite Elise Long in 1995, who also founded the Gowanus Arts Exchange (now the Brooklyn Arts Exchange/BAX) in 1985. Spoke the Hub dance workshops include belly dancing, ballroom, latin & swing, Hawaiian/Polynesian, and interpretive dance. Like a true community arts center, they have an art exhibit on show at the Union Street location, and often hold events like the upcoming recycled fashion show on March 21 addition to their classes, held at both 748 Union at 6th Ave. and Gowanus Arts, 295 Douglass at 3rd Avenue, (718) 408-3234.

Bed-Stuy YMCA has belly dancing, salsa, African dance, and Caribbean dance, plus a hip hop aerobics class. 1121 Bedford Ave. at Monroe Street, (718) 789-1497.

Cynthia King Dance Studio offers tap, ballet, jazz, and hip hop drop-in classes. Cynthia King herself, an Ailey School and Boston Conservatory trained dancer, teaches one adult class a week. 1256 Prospect Avenue between Reeve Place and Greenwood Avenue, (718) 437-0101.

Brooklyn Dance Project has drop-in hip hop, belly dancing, and reggae dance hall. Karine Newborn, founder of the studio, was born and raised in Paris and danced with a jazz troupe and performed in Cats in Paris and in several productions on Broadway (as a dancer and choreographer). 495 3rd Avenue at 11th Street, (718) 499-5402.

Miss J’s offers adult drop-in ballet, modern (Martha Graham-style), and choreography. 289 Kent Avenue between S. 1st and S. 2nd (next to Glasslands), (718) 218-7065.

Streb Trapeze Academy offers a mish-mash of a dance class called “popaction” which combines boxing, dance, rodeo, athletics, and Hollywood stuntwork. 51 North 1st Street between Wythe and Kent, (718) 384-6491.

Sent by Chrysanthe. Photos courtesy of Starting Artists on Flickr and Dwinston.

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