Hooray! I finally have a new leotard
So after a bit of an adventure, I think I’ve found a new studio here in Los Angeles. There are tons and tons of studios here because LA is full of actors/dancers/ singers/hordesoftalentedpeople, but I have some requirements and limitations! I know, I know, I’m picky. Whatever, I’ve been dancing for a long time now, I’m allowed to be! My major limitations are that 1) I don’t have a car and 2) I am low on funds (story of a graduate student’s life) and so I need to find affordable (read: approx $15) classes that are close by.
The first studio that I tried is sorta close to me, but there weren’t any bus lines going directly there. That means I’d have to bum a ride from someone each time or walk about 40 minutes, and either option would get old quickly. The studio itself was AWESOME– super luxurious dressing rooms, great dance floors, the price was right, and they had a friendly staff. The lockers were free to use, and they had showers, hair dryers, moisturizer, the WORKS. The ballet instructor wasn’t someone that I jived with, though. She was a delicate, delightful dancer. However, she seemed more interested in showing off her “I still got it!” skills than actually teaching her students. If we didn’t understand something, she didn’t really break it down or explain the technique behind it. Also the label of “Beginner” class was completely incorrect. She had long, complicated combinations that no truly beginner level dancer could handle. I asked her about it after class, and she told me that all of her classes are pretty much the same level. Hu-what? How does that even work? She was the only instructor available too, so I decided that perhaps I’d try out some other places.
The next place I wanted to try was really exciting because it was within walking distance from my house. It was a Russian style school (and I’ve mostly studied ABT style), but I didn’t want to let that deter me since I already had limited choices. I walked in to get more information, and was immediately put off. The front desk girl was friendly enough, and the sign said they had “adult” classes, but it wasn’t the normal adult type of school I was used to. Drop-in classes were $20 a pop (WHOA), and in order to bring the price down to a slightly more manageable $17, I had to enroll in a weird payment program that included a once-a-week schedule that didn’t allow for makeups if you missed a class. Well that just stinks. Not to mention there was a color-coded leotard dress code (!), and you had to take a placement class to be put into the proper level (!!!!). That translates to: I’d end up in a class with 12 year olds. NO THANK YOU.
Finally, I lucked out. Turns out my new downstairs neighbor used to be a dancer, and was looking into going back to classes. She mentioned a studio that I’d spotted, but was over in North Hollywood, so it was beyond my reach. The price was right, and they have ballet classes at our level every morning. So Neighborina and I went to check it out, and lo and behold– EXACTLY what I was looking for!! I’ve gone about three times now and had two different teachers. The studio floors are a bit icky in some places and the classes are typically crowded, but the vibe is laid back and the instructors are focused on teaching. I also investigated, and there is a bus line that runs directly from my house to the studio, so that’s a nice perk too. I forsee it becoming a problem when I get a job– their ballet classes are only in the morning, and a work schedule would conflict with that. For now, however, it seems to be working just fine!
I was truly spoiled rotten up in San Francisco. I hope to be able to explore more studios in the area once I get a job and therefore a car.