Best ballet classes for kids in NYC

These amazing ballet classes for kids will soon have your tot spinning, plié-ing and leaping for joy

Photograph: Courtesy Downtown Dance Factory

If your tykes can’t stop twirling around the house, perhaps it’s time to sign them up for ballet classes for kids. Not only will they learn coordination and body control, but they’ll also walk away with social skills and the good habit of regular exercise. Some ballet classes for toddlers are perfect bonding experiences as parents can prance right alongside their tiny dancer! If your little one seems eager to gain more skills after ballet sessions are through, consider booking a spot in other dance classes for kids, New York’s best classes for kids in all areas and swimming lessons come summertime.

Ballet classes for kids

1

Broadway Dance Center

This dance studio gets kids started young! Parents can sign up for a Pouch Baby Barre workout session with babies as young as eight weeks old. Once the little one is old enough to stand on her feet, Ballet/Tap Combo classes (ages 3–4, 5–6) introduces rhythm and basic ballet and tap skills using animals and nature for inspiration. Older kids (ages 7–18) can dive into ballet classes for various skill levels. Ages 3–18. 

Hell's Kitchen
2

Ballet Academy East

All kiddos start in the Young Dancers Division, which is divided up into several programs, including Petit Dancers classes for toddlers 18 mos–2 and their caregivers and pre-ballet for students ages 3–6. Some go on to the intensive preprofessional program (ages 7–19), where they'll study pointe, partner work and variations. Others continue to plié for fun in the primary (for ages 6–7) and enrichment sessions (ages 7 and up). Ages 18 months and up. 

Upper East Side
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3

The Ailey School

The nationally recognized dance company opens its doors for children’s introductory classes. Sign your budding dancers up for First Steps and Bounding Boys (ages 3–6) where they’ll develop their coordination and control skills and begin to connect dance with rhythm and music. Older kids can audition for the Junior Division (ages 7–17) where they’ll hone those dance skills before moving on to longer-term training in the Professional Division (ages 17–25). Ages 3–25.

Hell's Kitchen
4

Joffrey Ballet Studios

This school’s program makes building a foundation in ballet a fun experience through age-appropriate creative activities that have kids exploring body movement. Baby Ballerinas (ages 3–9) and Demi Soloists (ages 4–9) will learn social skills, motor coordination and develop their “movement vocabulary.” Kids can then move up to Pre-Ballet 1 (ages 5–9), Pre-Ballet 2 (ages 6–9) and Foundations of Ballet (ages 7–9). Pre-teens and teens (ages 8–18) can take a variety of classes, including Ballet Barré, Ballet Explore and Boys Ballet. Best yet, there’s live music in all classes. Ages 3 and up.

Greenwich Village
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5

Downtown Dance Factory

Budding swans will be taken under the wing of the company’s Head of Ballet, former New York City Ballet ballerina Jessica Flynn. Classes during the semester center around fundamentals while developing discipline and grace. Start your 2-year-old toddler off in TutuTots or TinyTots before letting them stretch their wings in KindiBallet (ages 3–5). Older students will explore different methods and influences before discovering their own style preferences. Ages 5 and up.

Tribeca
6

Ballet Hispanico

The Spanish dance group specializes in the dramatic art of flamenco (along with salsa, tango and other infectious beats), but its Pasitos Pre-Ballet is perfect for 5-year-olds ready to learn basic ballet concepts. Tykes will practice flexibility and control all the while learning about the culture through stories and music. The open class program (ages 6–18) offers ballet and pointe classes, which emphasizes skill mastery and expressiveness through dance. Once they’re confident they want to stay the ballet course, pre-professional (ages 7–23) and professional (ages 15–23) studies will set them up for the professional stage. Ages 2 and up.

Upper West Side
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7

Mark Morris Dance Center

The Fort Greene studio offers 15 ballet classes for kids starting as young as four. Strength, control alignment and grace are just a few of the techniques they’ll learn before they can enroll in teen pointe classes (ages 12–18). Ages 4–18.

Fort Greene
8

Brooklyn Arts Exchange

Ballet at BAX classes center on balance, form, strengths and grace and kids practice their technique during floor, barre and center work. Ballet I (ages 6–8) is an introduction to the genre and move on to create original compositions and choreography in Ballet II (ages 8–11). Ages 6–11.

Park Slope
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9

Dancewave

This Brooklyn dance studio has a long list of dance classes and their children’s ballet offerings cater to tykes all the way up to older teens. Creative Ballet I (ages 3–4) presents ballet basics through dance games and activities and in Creative Ballet II (ages 5–6), they’ll build their strength and range of motion as they learn to express themselves through improvisation. Ballet classes for ages 6 and up focus on skills such as kinesthetic awareness, balance, alignment and execution. In Ballet Repertory (ages 13–15), dancers will explore both classical and contemporary ballet choreography. Ages 3–18.

Park Slope
10

The School at Peridance

This top-notch dance studio offers a wide variety of dance classes for all ages and skill levels from beginner to advanced. Children can begin their ballet tutelage at 18mos in the Young Movers program (ages 18mos–6). From there, the PeriChild (ages 6–13), PeriTeen (ages 13–17) and Pre-Professional Training (ages 8–18) programs will guide your child’s increasing skill levels. Teens who land a spot in the Peridance Youth Ensemble will get individualized training sessions with professional choreographers and perform in venues around NYC. Ages 18mos–18.

East Village
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