By Anne Delano
Broadway Dance Center is a dance studio in the heart of Times Square that offers over 225 classes a week in multiple styles of dance: Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Funk, Belly, African, Popping and Theatre, along with Yoga, Pilates and even vocal technique. Walking past the studio you probably would not realize that all that action is going on above your head. The center is beautiful and newly refurbished with 5 well-equipped dance studios. The lobby/lounge is reminiscent of an airport check-in area, with uniformed clerks at the ready to check you in and flat screen monitors showing what’s going on in each room in real time.
I tried a “Basic” Hip Hop/Funk” class which is open to all levels from beginner to advanced but is geared toward those with 2 years or less of dance experience. The somewhat darkened studio was enormous at over 2,000 square feet with 2 columns in the middle, which split the room into two sections. They may not think of this as a selling point, but for someone like myself that lacks rhythm, especially for hip hop, it was very comforting to be able to hide in the back. The more accomplished dancers were asked to come to the front of the room and stand in the light to serve as examples for the rest of us. There were at least 50 students of all kinds, from actual dancers to business people looking for release from the day’s stress. The teacher, Bev Brown was great, even though she had a lot of different skill levels to deal with, she was very hands on and was able to give personal instruction and encouragement.
For more serious dance students, Broadway Dance Center also offers several options for more directed study. The “Professional Semester” option is an elite 4-month course for dancers 18-27 years of age, which includes not only multi-disciplinary technique classes but also mock auditions and practical seminars to help “transform dancers into working artists.” They have programs for children and teens, international students, an 8-week “Summer Intern Program”, a “Rockette Experience Workshop”, and even a work-study program for students who need some financial assistance to be able to attend.
The costs are very reasonable, especially considering the Times Square location, and if you purchase packages of classes, you get an even better deal. For more information or to sign-up for a class, visit http://www.broadwaydancecenter.com
Broadway Dance Center
322 West 45th Street