Monday, February 19, 2007


As I mentioned in a previous post, I danced as a kid. My parents took me to see ballet all of the time. We went to see American Ballet Theater and at the time Mikhail Baryshnikov danced with them so I saw him many many times as a kid. I remember being really perplexed when we went to see ballets and he wasn't in them -- I think I sort of thought that seeing ballet meant you would see Baryshnikov dance.

When I was in high school and finally getting over my wild child phase, I took up ballet for a second time. I had danced pretty seriously up until about junior high and then I lost interest. For whatever reason I found myself drawn back to dance around my senior year of high school. I would go to the David Howard Studios which was located off of Amsterdam Avenue right behind Lincoln Center.

It was a beatiful studio with tons of light. David Howard was a very famous ballet teacher and it was a small studio. One of the studios had a little area that was carpeted and had benches so you could watch the class previous to yours finish up. This was pretty amazing because all of the major dancers from the big companies took classes there. I watched Mikhail Baryshnikov take class there a few times which was pretty mindblowing. It was even more amazing because it was just a casual thing -- the fact that these amazing dancers were at this studio and then someone like me could walk in and take a class right afterwards.

I would go to see ballet at Lincoln Center all the time. You used to be able to buy standing room tickets for $5.00 -- literally cheaper then going to the movies, and you always got a seat -- the ushers would let you go find oneup in the fourth ring as soon as the lights went down.

I used to take ballet class until about 9pm and then I would walk over to the State Theater where the New York City Ballet danced. They usually did 3 or 4 shorter pieces per night and sometimes people would leave early in between ballets. As people left I would ask people if they were leaving and if I could take their ticket stub and I would go in and watch the last two ballets of the night. After a while the ticket guys got to know me and they would save me the best unsold ticket and let me go in to see the last ballet. So I would get this 70 dollar ticket in the middle of the orchestra for free. This is the sort of thing that I love about growing up here -- only in this town can you strike that kind of deal with the friendly ticket dude.


Blogger Marielena said...

Dancin'! We've discussed our similar dance pasts, no? We should totally take a class and stumble and wheeze through it.

1:49 PM  

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