Monday, November 17, 2008

Secret Studio

On a quest for a last minute pilates/stretch class this afternoon to work through my aches and pains of performances, I stumbled upon New York's newest best kept secret: Manhattan Movement and Arts Center.

The studio, which was formerly Studio Maestro here on the upper west side, just reopened recently at their beautiful facility on 60th street near West End Avenue. I had heard from a few sources that the studios were really nice and have been meaning to find time to take ballet there...and today was my chance for a visit.

They have a pretty extensive open class schedule for being open only 2 months. Besides ballet and jazz stuff they have aerial dance training, which I really want to try! Haha it sounds cool.

Anyway, I walked in and signed up for the stretch class. Each class is $17, which at first I thought seemed a bit high. Ailey is $16 (but less with my union discount), Ballet Arts at City Center is only $15. Broadway Dance is the only one that costs more: $18. But I figured since it's a new place they need to make money. I paid up and since it was my first time there they gave me a free class voucher for the next time I come. This is an EXCELLENT incentive!! I'll be going back.

The receptionist showed me the dressing room down the hall and I got ready for class. It's a small locker room but they have two nice showers and plenty of locker space.

At 2pm in the EMPTY hallway where I sat reading through their open class schedule and brochure the stretch teacher came and asked if I was Taylor. Yes, I say. "Great! Don't be intimidated but you're my only student today, and I'm so happy you're here!"

A private stretch class for $17? That's a bargain!

It was so great! Exactly what my body needed. And normally I'd be uncomfortable being the only person in a new class I wasn't familiar with, but the teacher was SO nice and really worked with me. Where else in this city is there a class with that much free space and attention?

GO before everybody finds out about it, haha! Maybe their later evening classes are a bit more full because people get out of work...but I still think it's worth trying as an alternative to the obnoxious crowds at other dance studios in the city. If you're around, check it out. Their open class schedule is here.

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