I am very pleased to be able to give an enthusiastic recommendation for this dance group and school.
My daughter began with Rebecca Kelly Ballet’s Kids Co-Motion at about age 2 1/2 (twelve years ago); having wanted to dance from the time she could walk, she had already been in a local class. For two years then, Merrill came to Rebecca Kelly’s 3’s and 4’s, which was a wonderful, concerted, and fun group, with consistent and thoughtful teachers.
Merrill wanted to do ballet, but although her next class was at a music school, I found many of the children were not very attentive, didn’t care or could not focus; I looked at many other schools’ classes for 5 year-olds; wanting a modern dance approach, some emphasis on classical moves and stretches, but not a vast commitment in ambition, we were pleased to have her in Dances by Young Choreographers led by Ellen Robbins at Dance Theatre Workshop which we continued for seven years, and where she developed her sense of movement, choreography, rhythm. Over summers she did ballet classes at Lucy Moses, and a Jazz Dance class; Jacques’ D’Amboise’ National Dance Institute spent a year with her class, and she went for a summer week.
As a teen, she wanted a change, so I looked again at classes in more than a dozen well-established dance schools in Manhattan. I sought an active, thoughtful program with fully engaged and fairly talented kids, with teachers able to inspire and lead the class, a dance version of her academically-demanding school, The Hunter College High School, but allowing only one session per week. I found some schools required a major commitment in time for kids devoted to dance, frankly training pre-professionals, and most of the other schools (several were in very dismal rooms; some fabulous, large bright and new), but where the kids I saw in class looked as if they didn't enjoy the class, the teaching did not engage them, eyes wandered, they could not do the moves; maybe their parents wanted them to become graceful, but many were not into it, or they were not being taught anything. Groups were often were too big - kids were not 'touched' . I wondered where the 'talented kids' go – then we found Rebecca Kelly Teens.
At Rebecca Kelly Teens we found a great combination of intensity, thoughtful energy, joy and caring; the appropriate 'level' of dance/athletic ability of the kids, with similar age groupings, with some inspiring ability in other kids; the class, including a lot of stretching and flexibility training, also used rhythm in everything with interesting and varied music; the moves were a bit of challenge, sometimes, and fun; size of class allowed a lot of attention to each girl on specific ways to improve. It has been wonderful for my daughter to be able to give herself completely, be fully engaged in dance under the careful, wise and alert attention of Rebecca. The low-key performances allow us just enough of a peek that we can enjoy her efforts without excessive pressure. Our daughter’s ability to compose and present herself, to carry conviction in her ‘line’, has grown noticeably, and it has helped her in other fields: as a serious ice-skater, in school reports and drama, and to enjoy herself confidently as a dancer.