Tag Archives: theatre

Kids dance classes in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


As your kids start a new school year and exercise their minds again, it’s a great time to sign them up for an extracurricular activity that will exercise their bodies, such as dance. Here’s a list of places in Queens where they can take dance classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and more.

All Star Studios
108-12 72nd Avenue, Forest Hills, 718-268-2280

Ballet, tap, jazz/contemporary, theatre, hip-hop and gymnastics/acrobatics. New students can come try a class commitment free. Private lessons also available.

Heavenly Bodies Dance & Exercise Studio
85-20 101st Street, Ozone Park, 718-843-7222

Ballet, pointe, jazz, tap and hip-hop for students 3 years old and up.

Landrum School of Dance
11-02 Clintonville Street, Whitestone, 718-767-9787

Ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip-hop, musical, theater, acrobatics and much more. All boys classes are 50 percent off (excluding company classes).

Louise Benes Dance Company
87 – 18 114th Street, Richmond Hill, 718 849-3099

Creative movement, ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop for beginners of all ages, including toddlers through to adults.

Moves & Motions Dance Academy
7402- Eliot Ave, Middle Village, 718-672-3700
70-20 88th Street, Glendale, 718-417-8500

This dance school has two locations in Queens and classes in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, gymnastics and acrobatics, cheer dance, and nursery and pre-school dance. Private lessons available.

Nadia’s Performing Arts Centre
150-33 14th Avenue, Lower Level, Whitestone
718-746-3980

Voted best children’s dance school by the Queens Courier’s Best of the Borough 2012, it offers classes in pre-ballet, ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theatre and more.

Rising Stars Dance Studio
11005 Liberty Avenue, Richmond Hill
718-641-0653

Ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre, salsa and acrobatics classes for all ages.

Robert Mann Dance Centre
214-10 41st Avenue, Bayside, 718-225-3696

Classes for beginners through professional levels for both children and adults in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical/contemporary, acrobatics modern, theatre dance, stretch Zumba and ballroom. In addition, it offers four special programs for children from 1.6 to 7 years old.

Studio E School of Dance
187-16 Union Turnpike, Flushing, 718-264-0100

Classes in ballet and pointe, hip-hop and street styles, tap, contemporary/lyrical, creative and pre-ballet classes for 3 to 5-year-olds and a Music Together program that offers music and movement classes for mixed ages (birth to 4 years old).

The Astoria Dance Center
42-16 28th Avenue, Astoria, 718-278-1567

Classes offered include a Dance Together programs for ages 2 and 3 (with a parent), pre-school dance for ages 3.5 to 4.5, pre-dance for ages 4.5 to 5.5, pre-ballet, jazz and tap for ages 6 to 9 and classes in ballet, tap, jazz and modern for ages 10 through teens.

The Dance Project
150-47 Willets Point Boulevard, Whitestone, 718-353-2450

Classes in tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, modern and hip-hop. There is also a program where boys, 10 and up, can take hip-hop classes for free.

The Dance Source
98-11 Queens Boulevard, Rego Park, 718-997-1278

Classes in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, gymnastics, ballroom, hip-hop, ballroom and international ballroom for all ages and levels. Private coaching and private classes are available by appointment.

Bringing an icon to life


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Diane Cypkin

College professor by day and entertainer by night, Diane Cypkin brings nostalgia, harmony and history with her to every performance.

Born in a displaced persons camp in Munich, Germany after the war, Cypkin grew up in a Yiddish-speaking home.

Now inBrightonBeach, Brooklyn, her shtick is making sure the story of well-loved entertainer Molly Picon — said to be the star of Yiddish theater inNew York City— lives on. 

Picon, a New York-born Yiddish icon, is well-known for her theater, radio, television and film performances over the span of seven decades. The film many may remember her most for is “Yidl with His Fiddle,” which debuted in 1936. She also starred in the 1963 film “Come Blow Your Horn” and “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1971 before she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in her later years and died at age 93.

Still, the ties Cypkin has to Picon are many and strong.

Not only was Cypkin raised by a musically-inclined father and theater-loving mother, she has infinite knowledge of Yiddish theater in New York City after writing a great deal about it and even performing there for many years.

Cypkin also curated an exhibition at the Museum of the City ofNew Yorkentitled “One Hundred Years of Yiddish Theatre inNew York City” before the Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts inNew Yorkasked her to do an exhibition on Picon.

Now, through a few hundred artifacts — including pictures, programs, reviews, posters, music and costumes — Cypkin tells Picon’s story in English and sings her songs in Yiddish.

“I love her music, and her lyrics are poetry. When I sing it, I see it,” Cypkin said.

Although the premise of her performances revolves around the life and times of Picon, Cypkin said the concerts end up focusing more on the stories of the audience members.

“It’s Molly’s story, but it’s also our story. At the end, you end up talking about the lower east side, and the audience members all remember going to the Yiddish theater. They all remember their old homes and their parents. Molly is the icon around which our lives have turned. It’s the story about everybody who lived in her time.”

Cypkin, who recently performed forNorthShoreTowersresidents, said she got lost on her way to the venue. With no map and no G.P.S. system, Cypkin said she pulled over and found an AAA service truck on the side of the road.

“I said to him, ‘Listen, I have a show. Please lead me there,” Cypkin said. “It was just a pleasure to be there, and it was truly a wonderful audience.”

Cypkin is a professor of media and communication arts atPaceUniversityand has been teaching there for more than 20 years. In just the last year, she and her pianist Lina Panfilova have done about 30 shows throughout the tri-state area.

“I can honestly say it’s not just a concert I offer. It’s a community event,” she said. “By the time the show is over, we know each other well. I can feel the audience with me, and after the show, people run up to talk to me and share their memories. Every time I do a show, I love it all over again. I don’t get bored. You can, but I don’t.”

And Yiddish or not, Cypkin said everyone can enjoy the performance.

“You don’t have to understand every word of Yiddish. It’s the music, and it’s the way it’s presented. It’s the sound of a language.”