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Dance classes for kids in NYC

From ballet to hip-hop (and beyond), bust a move with these dance classes for kids

Photograph: Downtown Dance Factory

Just because chilly weather has your family cooped up inside doesn't mean you can't stay active this winter. There are plenty of awesome indoor activities for kids that will keep little ones moving no matter what it's doing outside. Pay a visit to one of our favorite NYC play spaces, check out some of the best kids' fitness centers in NYC or sign them up to get their groove on in a dance class. Whether your youngsters want to be prima ballerinas or hip-hop stars, these dance classes for kids are sure to keep them on their toes. Children of all ages and experience levels will practice their plies and perfect their pirouettes through classes in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, flamenco, African dance and more.

RECOMMENDED: 30 best after-school programs for kids in NYC 

Dance classes for kids

The Ailey School

  • Price band: 1/4

No auditions are necessary for introductory classes at the junior division of this nationally renowned dance company, including First Steps (for kids ages three to six) and Bounding Boys (for boys ages four to six). Fun exercises help little ones learn fundamental skills like muscle memory and rhythm awareness while encouraging creative movement. Kids seven and up wishing to continue their dance studies can audition for more advanced classes in late summer. Annual tuition for First Steps and Bounding Boys is $1,000. Ages 3 and up.

  1. 405 W 55th St (at Ninth Ave)
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American Tap Dance Center

  • Price band: 1/4

Newbies can start with the basics in Tap Fundamentals, then move on to more specific courses of study in classes like Shim Sham Crew and Hoofers and Hitters. Kids don't just learn how to do running flaps here; they're also immersed in the rich history of tap, from the Nicholas Brothers to contemporary tap dancers like Michelle Dorrance and Derick K. Grant (whom you may even catch rehearsing at the studios). Ages 3½ and up.

  1. 154 Christopher St, No. 2B, (between Greenwich and Washington Sts)
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Ballet Hispanico

  • Price band: 1/4

You can't get much more dramatic than the sweeping arms and quick-moving feet of the flamenco routines taught in this Spanish dance program. Choose from ballet, jazz, salsa, tap, traditional Spanish dance or hip-hop—all of which are taught at different levels. Adventures in Dance introduces little ones aged 2 to 5 to coordination, musicality and creative movement, while the General Program, for dancers aged 6 to 18, covers a range of disciplines and culminates in a recital. Classes also include a brief history lesson on the expressive art form. Ages 2 and up.

  1. 167 W 89th St, (between Columbus and Amsterdam Aves)
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Ballet Academy East

  • Price band: 2/4

All young swan princesses start in the Young Dancers Division, which is divided up into several programs, including Petit Dancers classes for toddlers and their caregivers and pre-ballet, tap and modern for students aged 3 to 6. Some go on to the intensive preprofessional program (ages 7 to 19), where they'll study pointe, partner work and variations. Others continue to plié for fun in the primary and enrichment sessions (ages 6 to 12). Ages 18 months and up. 

  1. 1651 Third Ave, (between 92nd and 93rd Sts)
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Broadway Dance Center

  • Price band: 1/4

This year-long, multi-level program includes classes in all forms of dance, from introductory creative movement for little ones to ballet, jazz, hip-hop, musical theater dance and contemporary. There are even classes that focus specifically on jumping and turning. The Children & Teen Program includes a year-end recital in a city theater. Dancers aged 10 to 18 can be considered for the Professional Track. Mini workshops are also available for kids (and parents) who want a shorter-term commitment. Ages 3 and up.

  1. 322 W 45th St, (between Eighth and Ninth Aves)
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Brooklyn Arts Exchange

  • Price band: 1/4

Dance, theater and tumbling classes are available at affordable prices at this Brooklyn arts center. Offerings range from the toddler-centric Move and Groove to modern dance, ballet and hip-hop for tweens. More advanced dancers (aged 9 to 18) may be invited to participate in Performance Workshops, in which they'll deepen their study of dance technique and work on original choreography. Ages 18 months and up.

  1. 421 Fifth Ave, (between 7th and 8th Sts)
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  • Price band: 1/4

This Brooklyn dance studio offers too many dance classes for us to count. One of their most unique, though, is Broadway Stars of Tomorrow, where the choreography is inspired by real musicals and students learn to sing, dance and act simultaneously. The school also offers creative movement for beginner dancers, plus hip-hop, modern, ballet and contemporary. The semester culminates in a recital, held at the Kumble Theater in May. Ages 18 months to 18.

  1. 182 Fourth Ave, (at Degraw St)
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Downtown Dance Factory

This Tribeca dance studio, created by two NYC moms, offers classes and parties for kids as young as 2 years. Little ones (accompanied by their caregivers) can get a taste of several dance styles, including jazz and ballet, in Tututots. The packed schedule also features lyrical, street hip-hop and tap courses, and a special breakdancing program just for boys. Ages 2 and up. 

  1. 291 Broadway, Fifth Floor, (at Reade St)
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NYC Bhangra

  • Price band: 1/4

High-energy Bollywood dance music provides the soundtrack for these athletic and creative classes. Youngsters learn the pulsating rhythm and dynamic steps of Indian dances like bhangra and gidha—all of which incorporate clapping, hopping and colorful costumes. They'll study technique and movement, then put it all together in a two- to three-minute choreographed routine. Ages 2 1/5 to 15. 

  1. Ripley-Grier Studios, 520 Eighth Ave , (between 36th and 37th Sts), 10018
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The School at Peridance

  • Price band: 1/4

This renowned dance school has classes for dancers of all ages, from toddlers to teens. Children as young as 18 months will develop their motor skills while learning musicality and rhythm in the Young Movers program, while kids aged 6 to 12 can explore various dance styles (such as ballet, jazz, salsa and hip-hop) in the PeriChild Program. Serious dancers may consider auditioning for the Pre-Professional Training Program, which will prepare them to join Peridance's Youth Ensemble. Ages 18 months to 17.

  1. 126 E 13th St, (between Third and Fourth Aves)
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