Learn to dance to show tunes at theatrical dance classes
Broadway babies can learn to dance and perform musical-theater routines at these New York dance studios.
Tue Sep 11 2012
Try these beginner musical-theater dance sessions if you want to learn to dance like your favorite Broadway stars. Instructors at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center teach simple routines from favorites such as Mamma Mia!, West Side Story and Chicago that will work your legs and give you a cardio workout.
RECOMMENDED: Fitness guide to NYC
Photograph: Eduardo Patino
Steps on Broadway
GLEEful at Broadway Bodies
Self-proclaimed Gleeks can strive for greatness in this workshop, which features musical-theater and pop tunes from the Fox hit Glee. Instructor Travis Nesbitt, who honed his dancing chops performing in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Off Broadway’s Altar Boyz, leads the exuberant session. Even if you have zero dance training, you’ll feel at ease: The first 30 minutes are dedicated to the simplest steps (pivot turn, grapevine), aimed at building coordination skills while simultaneously upping your heart rate. With the half hour left, you’ll tackle song-specific hand- and footwork that’s easy to pick up, but tough enough that you’ll feel as if you learned something—not to mention sweated off a ton of calories. • Chelsea Studios, 151 W 26th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, sixth floor (347-926-3952, broadwaybodies.com). Wed 7pm; single class $18.
Beginner Theater Dance at Steps on Broadway
Dancer and music-video choreographer Christopher Liddell exudes plenty of energy, making this taxing musical-theater class a total blast. A major yoga devotee, he uses Sivananda-influenced muscle-lengthening techniques in the 30-minute warm-up, in which you’ll also work on ballet steps and muscle isolation to help prevent injuries. The remaining hour focuses on a routine to tunes from Mamma Mia!, West Side Story and other lively musicals. His clear instructions will have you dancing in the vein of Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins, two icons whose numbers emphasized athleticism. You’ll leave feeling long and lean, and probably humming a Broadway tune. • 2121 Broadway at 74th St (212-874-2410, stepsnyc.com). Fri 1pm; single class $18.
Beginner Theatre Dance at Broadway Dance Center
Fair warning: The “entry-level” classes at this popular studio are aimed at dance fans with at least a few years’ experience. If you’re up for the challenge, but still feel a bit rusty, opt for a session run by the ever-patient Lainie Munro. In the first half hour, you’ll warm up with basic ballet steps, plus crunches, legs lifts and floor stretches. Many of these moves feel like those in aerobics classes, and your hamstrings and calves will be screaming in no time. For the next 15 minutes, you’ll learn a simple combination used in a popular musical; recent routines have included In the Heights, Chicago and The Wedding Singer. Munro then spends the rest of the hour teaching a group number set to a specific show tune. Once everyone is comfortable, you’ll divide into two groups to perform. Take the opportunity to go all-out; you’ll tone your arms and strengthen your core with turns and lots of kicks. • 322 W 45th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves, third floor (212-582-9304, broadwaydancecenter.com). Wed 3pm; single class $18.