Archive for January, 2012

Ballet Arts Still Thrives

January 19, 2012

As my husband and I wandered around the arts community of Beacon, NY, he tried the door of Ballet Arts Studio. To my surprise, the studio was open! I was happy to see that it is still a top notch dance school. This is the studio where I started my ballet training in 1963 and  continued studying dance until I went off to college (even then I would attend classes at the studio on Saturdays and also performed with the company).

Gail in front of Ballet Arts Studio, Beacon , NY

Being there brought back lots of wonderful memories. The studio looks exactly as I remember it although a few things have changed. There is now an additional dance studio in the basement and a new marley dance floor covers the wood floor. And I don’t remember the paint in the dressing room being such bright colors. But those are just minor changes to the appearance of the facility. The knowledge and love of dance is still being shared.

Photo of Ballet Arts Studio, Beacon NY

Of course there is a different director of the studio. Over the years the studio has changed hands many times. When I began my lessons, Elizabeth Schneider ran the school and was Artistic Director of Dutchess County Ballet Company. She had to sell the studio due to health reasons, so in 1969 Mme Seda Suny and Tom Adair ran the studio. Tom Adair also had a studio in Poughkeepsie, NY and was the artistic director of Poughkeepsie Ballet Theatre. All students of Ballet Arts Studio performed with Mr. Adair’s company.  I was very fortunate to study ballet with these excellent teachers and to have the opportunity to dance in many ballet performances.

Mme Seda ran the studio until 1985 when she retired from teaching ballet at the age of 80. Valerie Feit bought the studio. I never studied from her, but from what I have read and heard, it was a thriving dance studio. Two and a half years ago Valerie passed the studio on to her dance colleague, Alex Bloomstein.

Mr. Bloomstein is carrying on the tradition. I watched as he worked with several young students and could see how passionate he and the students are about dance. They are already rehearsing for the school’s spring recital. I just may have to attend that recital! (And I’m sure that my mom would love to go. She also spent lots of time at Ballet Arts Studio working as the office manager.)

I hope that these young dancers will still find a dance studio here if they visit thirty years after they have stopped taking lessons.  I can’t imagine anything else in that building.

Learn more about Ballet Arts Studio at