It’s amazing how quickly dancers seem to find one another. Maybe it’s because the first thing you say when making an introduction is “she’s a dancer, too,” or maybe it’s some magnetic force we have – the “messy-bun, flannel-around-waist” uniform, or “surprisingly-great-taste-in-hip-hop-music” cred.
So it wasn’t long before I moved out to NYC that I was welcomed by a bunch of Cal Dance team alum, found dance fans within my new kickball team, and even joined a Hamptons-bound squad of ladies made primarily of – you guessed it – girls with my SoCal competition background.
Finding and knowing other dancers was invaluable to my transition to New York, offering an instant community and a fun way to explore all the new classes at my fingertips. And whether it was learning the latest Beyoncé music video choreo before brunch, hosting or going to one another’s classes (now many of us also in the fitness world), or playing Dance Zoo out at the club (our non-dance friends know this all too well), being with other dancers quickly made a new city feel like home.
As a Cal dance Alumna who is now far from the Bay, I wanted to write this post to offer a warm welcome to anyone else who is on this side of the country. Whether you’re just in the city for an interview and want to grab a cup of coffee, or you’re a transplant looking for someone to take class with, give a shout! In the meantime, here are just a few of the resources I’ve found in New York, should they give you a starting point when you’re in town.
Where to dance in New York:
Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway: Both on the Upper West Side and probably the closest you’ll find to something like ODC in SF or EDGE in LA. All the jazz, tap, hip-hop, and contemporary your little heart desires, and a few are even on Classpass.
Alvin Ailey and Mark Morris: That’s right, classes are open for us mortals to breathe in the same air as these legends. Alvin Ailey up by the beautiful Lincoln Center, which you must plan to visit as well, and Mark Morris is out in Williamsburg for you Brooklynites. Be sure to take the Friday night West African class because there is a live drum circle, you will get weird, and there is no better way to start the weekend.
Banana Skirt and Broadway Bodies: These will bring you back to midtown more times than you’re willing to admit, whether it’s to learn the choreo to ‘Sorry’ or ‘Formation’ (aka Darrin’s Dance Grooves IRL) or just twerk your butt off to strobe lights in Ratchet Zooba (you have to be there). You will then be able to go forth and repeat said choreo every time the song comes on on the dance floor, and for that there is no price.
Other: Find other Cal dance alum around the city at BollyX, Exhale, Boss Body and more, and if you want to join our Facebook group we love to post classes we want to take together!
Finally, to keep up with the New York Alumni chapter, like our Facebook page here! We’ll be hosting a workshop to learn ‘Ordinary People’ (my senior year piece) this Sunday, March 5. Would love to see you there!
Workshop Event Details: Dance Workshop - Ordinary People
Facebook: Alumni Dance Collective in NYC