Ballez is performance, hanging out at the barre, taking class, and finding a new frame for queer bodies to dance in.

Classes

Adult Ballez

Adult Ballez is a dance class that explores the traditionally gender-binaried, exclusive culture of ballet class, radically re-imagining it as a site of liberatory, joyful, and inclusive queer play. Shifting the focus away from traditional ideas of virtuosity, we explore the virtuosity of genderqueer embodiment, practice energetic mirroring, learn inclusive partnering techniques, seek out (and destroy) our culturally constructed biases, and discover new freedom to witness the beauty of one another as we dance to the beats of queer icons! Starting with authentic (fantasy) movement, we warm-up at the barre, then move to center to turn, jump, practice partnering, and help each other fly across the floor.

Classes are open to all queers and allies. Socks are useful, ballet shoes not required, beginner to advanced levels are ALL WELCOME.

OPEN CLASS:
BRIC April 29, 11-12:15 FREE!!
https://www.bricartsmedia.org/events-performances/dance-freedom-ballez-katy-pyle

SERIES:
Brooklyn Arts Exchange, 421 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Mondays, May 8-June 12 | 7:00-8:30pm

$14/class
5 class card for $60
(drop-in, no pre-registration required)

To register, call 718-832-0018 or register in person. Financial Assistance available.
I absolutely loved the Ballez workshop because it challenged every preconceived notion I had about Ballet. While I only practiced Ballet as a young child, I quickly became aware of the rigorous scheduling and rules that the practice entailed. Media (specifically movies) further solidified my ideas about the stringent environment of Ballet. The Ballez workshop contradicted all of these ideas. The workshop was liberating and carefree. I found it incredible how they found a way to teach a seemingly perfect balance of structure and self-expression in the dance sets. What Ballez is doing for the Ballet community is truly incredible. On top of redefining gender ideas in Ballet they are redefining ideas about body image in Ballet. I really enjoyed hearing how they are open to anyone of any size to participate in their show. I think the openness they encourage must cultivate a strong supportive environment. In just 90 minutes of working with them, I found this to be true.

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I felt revitalized after the Ballez workshop! I thought it was incredibly fascinating that as the workshop progressed I was more at home with my body and I felt that my movement gave off a generosity that I had never experienced before. I was also thankful that the workshop was able to silence the inner critic in my head that I feel often plagues many artists and performers. We are full of self doubt, but a lot of that doubt simply disappeared during the class. I felt that the atmosphere that was created was one in which we have ourselves permission to have fun to watch each other to celebrate each other. I was really inspired to try and create that same atmosphere with my cast in the rehearsal room. The entire workshop reminded me of a statement made in an article called Taking Steps, in which the author said that “you have technique so that you can forget about technique and say something.” I felt that this workshop had a great balance with this concept. They would show us a little bit of technique, but that never compromised what we were trying to say it simply gave us another avenue or mode to express our inner truths. This workshop was hands down the highlight of last week! I desperately want them to come back and perform one of their shows here in New Haven.

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I was very nervous to participate in our Ballez workshop. As an individual with little to no prior dance experience, I was concerned about the class’ pace. To my surprise, my experience with Ballez was unlike anything I expected. When I think of traditional ballet, some words that come to mind are structure, precision, and discipline. Known to be incredibly grueling both psychologically and physically, successful ballerinas have to be incredibly disciplined in all areas of their lives. With my understanding of ballet being limited to what I have described above, I was blown away by the Ballez workshop. Although it was clear that both Jules and Katy were incredibly skilled and equipped with years of experience, they encouraged everyone in our class, regardless of ability, to dance freely. There wasn’t a moment where I felt as though I was being judged, and that encouraged me to really let loose and give it my all. In addition to changing my impression of ballet, the Ballez workshop also showed me that dancing is something that can be done by anyone, regardless of background.

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I have never been a good dancer. I am able to let lose (with the help of a little alcohol) from time to time, but I never move to the beat or have any definable moves. This is fun to me and striving for dancing perfection seems like a pipe dream. During this class I could feel the difficulty and dedication. I could witness the internal struggle of trying to perform while maintaining a facade that what is being performed is easy. And for just a moment, I felt like maybe I could dance. The positivity that Katie and Juls brought to the class is something I have never witnessed. Their acceptance of all bodies (shapes, sizes, sexualities, etc.) was incredible, and for those two hours I could buy into this world. In these two hours the gap between gay and straight and fat and skinny and all other “polar opposites” seemed completely bridged, but the reality is that as a society we are just not there yet. The perfect world and environment that they have created for themselves is just a drop in a vast ocean. They seem to almost be invincible in their ability to not allow the negativity their community receives to effect them. This class was very memorable and a fantastic learning experience about both acceptance and dancing.
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Traditional ballet is like an impossibly beautiful crystal castle that’s built on a foundation of really dark scary dungeons. The Ballez workshop was wonderful because it totally swept away the rigid confines of structure and allowed us to enjoy the elegant and graceful castle floating merrily above. I loved the idea of reclaiming the nobility and entitlement and grandeur of ballet while eschewing its snobbery and self-hatred. In the Ballez workshop, you could feel how different the energy was than in a normal ballet class. In all other ballet classes I’ve taken, the energy is high but extremely cold and usually confined within each person unless it pierces out in jabs of judgment. But in Ballez, the energy could freely circulate, warm, easily given and received.

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I absolutely loved the Ballez workshop. I have participated in ballet classes but have never felt as free and creative as I did in the workshop. The exercise we started with, in which we closed our eyes and moved however we liked for 2 minutes, was my favorite. I felt so free and expressive. My comfort with our group in the class and the Ballez leaders’ creation of a safe space allowed me to feel that I was in my complete own world with my eyes closed. I also really enjoyed the constant reminder from the leaders that we could add our own movements to the dances they taught us. I enjoyed adding attitude to my twists, dips and head nods. This made it so much fun and would likely not be appreciated in most ballet classes. I liked that I could bring something to make my movements unique and representative of my personality and mood.