Ballet I

Jul 2013

Allegra Kent is a great teacher. She does a good job of covering the basics and going over form and posture in this class. Fun, helpful, and easy grading. Take this class if you've never (or barely) done any ballet before and you want to learn, or if you just want to get some exercise. The class I was in was 2 hours long. First hour was at the barre, small break in the middle, and then the rest was center floor or across the room. There were some silly floor routines where we were basically running into each other. Also, it's okay if you have to miss a class or two -- she'll just tell you to write a poem and bring it in to her for the next class.

Apr 2012

Allegra Kent is a great teacher and amazing dancer herself, although she can no longer dance. She has a very good dancer (I believe a Juilliard dance student) demonstrate for her class though. Although I did not actually take her class, I took a couple make-up classes with her (I was in a higher level but the timing worked for me) and I can already see how professional she is in her teaching. Her corrections were spot on, even if they were very small and detailed. She is a very sweet woman and is not too strict or too lenient. She also did try to help as many students as possible. If you want an enjoyable class in which you will improve in skill, I recommend taking a course with Allegra Kent. I had danced when I was younger but hadn't danced in many years so I didn't want to jump into a high level right away, but I hope to take ballet 5 with her in the future.

Apr 2012

Had a great time with this class! Signed up with absolutely zero dance experience (just figuring I might as well take advantage of the department while I'm at Barnard) and it was a good decision. Doing flowing movements and stretches to a live, calming piano accompanist is one of the best ways to start your day for sure. Mary Carpenter is friendly and just right for a beginner, though she also seemed good at giving tips to those who had more experience. Don't be late or have your cell phone on! It ruins the peaceful atmosphere. Mary's anecdotes in class about her ballet career give you a taste of the bizarre ballet culture without her actually being a hardass. All kinds of people with many skill levels blended well in this class - guys and girls. Can be a little crowded, but Mary knew everyone's names anyway! She was good about correcting you and making the class serious, while realizing that many people were just trying it out, or planning to take other types of dance in the future. It didn't (usually) make me sweat, but it did make me flexible! Just remember you'll need to buy the outfit, (leotard, cover-up skirt, canvas slippers) but it really wasn't as expensive as I was expecting - about $45 total (you get a discount at the store) and you can choose something you might wear in the future. I recommend this class!

Mar 2010

Took this twice with Mary Carpenter, who is ADORABLE. A tiny redhead who's used to teaching kids! I hadn't done ballet in literally a decade, although I was solidly grounded in Graham and Limon technique, and this wasn't excessively challenging -- a nice refresher for vocabulary and technique. As a morning person, I had no issue with the 9 AM start time, but a lot of other people did; hell, the accompanist showed up late more than I did. (Alas, she wasn't very creative or funny, but perfectly competent.) I'm a fan of Mary's ability to find YouTube videos relevant to class material, and the bonus videos of actual performances are always fun. Classes at this level tend to be a little big, which can be frustrating -- you rarely get the chance to repeat the chaines, or even try them from both sides, and that's my favorite part; the barre work can be hard to do if you're worried about whacking into somebody; and it's sometimes hard to resist the temptation to watch other students and compare yourself to them.

Aug 2009

Caitlin is one of the best teachers I've had in any subject throughout my entire academic career. I was interested in learning ballet, since I love to watch it, and so I took Caitlin's Ballet 1 class just for fun. I had no idea I would fall so in love with the dance. Caitlin has a talent for instilling passion in her students by showcasing her own love of dance, and by instructing with both precision and unshakable patience. She makes it clear that she expects more of her class than they generally think they can give, which is flattering, challenging, and encouraging. Somehow she tends to be more apt at estimating my ability than I am. She is an incredibly sweet person--so much fun to talk to, dance with, and learn from. Her classes were always the bright spots in my week. She stays after class to answer questions, and she also answers emails in an timely fashion, which is helpful. One of the best things about taking a beginner dance class from Caitlin in college is that she actually started dancing when she was a college junior. Most ballerinas start dancing shortly after learning to walk, and that can be discouraging to someone trying to start in their late teens/early twenties and feeling very behind. It is so inspiring to have a teacher who is a beautiful, talented, and graceful dancer, even having started so late. Caitlin is brilliant, and if you have the opportunity to take a class from her, I strongly recommend it.

Jan 2008

I had 0 dance experience coming into the class, but Tessa did an AMAZING job of introducing dance. She is a really good teacher and she never singles out people to humiliate them. When she does single out dancers, her comments are very constructive and very positive, and is for the entire class. Take her if you can.

May 2007

This class was great. Tessa is very friendly and helpful. The course was very basic and we went at a fairly steady pace. Definitely a good intro into ballet.

May 2006

As the previous poster said, I know there are already a TON of great reviews for Katie (all well-deserved), but I feel obligated to add another. Ballet I with Katie was a pleasure. She made getting up for a 9:10 class not only tolerable, but something I actually looked forward to. She is so down-to-earth and SO CARING and encouraging of everyone. She is also a great ballet teacher: not only did I learn a TON of basic ballet, but I am now able to touch my toes for the first time since the age of 7! This was by FAR the most productive "gym" class (I used it as my 2nd PE credit) I have ever had. All she asks is that you try your best -- if you do that, she is totally there for you. Katie is EASILY the best professor I have had on either side of Broadway. I just wish she was teaching Ballet I or II in the Fall!!

Jan 2005

If youve had no backround in PE or arent very athletic, Katie's great. Shes easy going, fun and very cool. However, If youre looking to be challenged, which I dont know if thats possible in a ballet I class, look for someone else. I dont regret takinig this class at all though, Id recommend it.

Sep 2003

I had Sabrina several years ago, and as the most memorable teachers tend to stand out, Sabrina stands out strongly. Certainly not in a good way, however. I had had some ballet experience, but it had been a while since I had taken it. So I was looking forward to a challenging yet not overly demanding class as a nice change from my academic classes. I can easily say that Sabrina's Ballet I was the most stressful class I had that semester. She routinely made you feel horrible and singled you out in front of the whole class if you weren't doing the exercises perfectly. I agree- -if we wanted to do pilates for a lengthy amount of time, we would have taken her pilates class. I found that she picked on people a lot. And the other reviewer is totally right--we were always kept 10 minutes over, and she had no regard for the fact that most of us had classes we had to get to. And she'd get mad if we said we needed to leave in order to be on time to our next class. In spite of everything though, I did become more flexible. But that's about the only thing I gained from taking her class.

Mar 2003

Liz is like a big sister who dances ballet and you'd love her from the first class--those who dropped off is because they cannot survive the 9AM class twice a week--but those who are passionate enough to get up that early would really enjoy it and feel it is worth it. Liz is really nice and sweet, she never makes fun of anyone who dances like a moron or who is even overweight damaging the bar. afterall everyone loves her!

Nov 2002

Liz is probably the most patient person on the planet. She is a fantastic dance teacher. She's big on technique and is very good at explaining exactly what she wants you to do, even to the point of naming the specific muscle she wants you to use. When she gives corrections she is tactful and will work with you until you get it right, yet doesn't make you feel like you are being put on the spot. She is spunky, funny, and makes everyone feel like they are important.

Nov 2002

Pearlman is an amazing dance teacher. She is very sweet and cares very much about her students. She is very serious about technique and to help you get it right she explains what muscles you should be using and will give as much individual attention as needed. She is energetic and fun and I can honestly say that I ENJOYED getting up for her class at 9.

Jun 2002

I hope you like ab work! Sabrina is a wonderful instructor, but she can be VERY intimidating. You will work technique in this class until your mind is completely numb and your body is entirely sore, but it is ultimately worth it. There is no one else in the dance department quite like her. While I could not call the classes fun, you will certainly be challenged and learn a lot perfecting your technique. Any of Sabrina's classes are for the truly dedicated dancer or the really ambitious beginner.