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


Ballez class returns to BAX!

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.

Brooklyn Arts Exchange, 421 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Mondays, March 6- April 10 and Mondays, May 8-June 12 | 7:00-8:30pm

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

To register, call 718-832-0018 or register in person. Financial Assistance available.

Ballez class allowed me to approach a range of old feelings carried into the studio from ballet classes past - shame, anxiety, perfectionism - with a new gentle and generous perspective.

Melanie Jones

For the first time in my dance experience, I was encouraged to look around and really see everyone in the room. It was wonderful to feel present as a member of a larger whole, to relax and not feel like I had to perform. In that calm and open mindset, I could explore the way I relate to dance and figure out my own personal biases.

Lily Altreuter

I always left class so happy, in my brain, my heart, and my body. As someone who has never trained in dance it felt wonderful to be out of my element, but also to feel like I didn't have to fake it or pretend to be doing it right, that I could just laugh or be uncertain or laugh while uncertain but that I wasn't failing or doing it wrong. I'm someone who likes to think I know what I'm doing, even when I haven't got a clue, it was nice to jump up and down and roll on the floor and emote and giggle and go the opposite direction of everyone else and just go with it anyway. Mostly I just smiled and smiled. It was so much fun, even in the moments when I felt awkward or uncertain.

Alexis Clements

I’ve realized shames that I’ve unlearned in Ballez class that I don’t even think I was aware I was holding in myself. Just ways that I would hide my body...I used to suck my cheeks in when I danced, because someone told me I had big cheeks. Just the little body patterns that I had. Even knowing I was going to a certain class where body hair wasn’t so accepted, so I’d wear a long sleeved shirt and long pants. I feel like...Ballez classes are a lot about unlearning shame.

Lindsay Reuter

Ballez has presented a lovely blend of experiences for me. As a professional dancer, I have been able to work on some ballet basics with as much rigor as I choose. The more beginner level also lets me open up to enjoy the environment around me - which is a totally chill, occasionally silly, and always fun hang-out with queer peers!

Sara Roer


photo of iele paloumpis and Kirstin Dahmer (foreground) by Elyssa Goodman