Ballet is one of the most beautiful performance arts out there, and luckily NYC is home to some of the most talented dancers in the world! Let’s not kid ourselves, putting on those pointed shoes is a lot of work and the shows are absolutely spectacular! Between the combination of music and movements, the stage can truly come to life during one of the mesmerizing performances.
We recommend everyone checks out a ballet show once in their life, and we made a list for you to make it easy. Check out these top 9 theaters and ballet companies that are home to some of the best dancers in the country!
1. New York City Ballet
One of the oldest ballet companies in the country, New York City Ballet will undoubtedly put on a show. First founded in 1948 by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, their goal was to produce and perform ballet in a way that would forever change this classical dance.
New York City Ballet is committed to expanding their audience and inviting the public to come to watch, learn, and help their community. NYCB boasts itself as one of the best-known ballet companies in the world and is famous for their graceful and elegant shows.
Their fall 2022 season is gearing up too, starting September 20 until October 16. Head to their website to glance at their upcoming shows!
Where: David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza
2. American Ballet Theatre
At America’s National Ballet Company, you’ll find all the classic performances including Tchaikovsky’s score of Swan Lake. This show in particular is quite the honor for any ballerina to perform in due to the amout of practice and passion needed to execute it well. You’ll also see other classics such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Romeo and Juliet.
This prodigious ballet company aims to deliver and extend classical dancing through performances and educational programming to those around them. Founded in 1939, they’ve performed the classics from Sleeping Beauty to contemporary pieces, such as Jardin aux Lilas.
Where: Met Opera House, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza, or the David H. Kosh Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza
3. Dance Theatre of Harlem
Founded in 1971 by Arthur Mitchell, the first African American principal dancer, he went on to give the stage to multi-ethnic dancers. This company showcases dancers from all over the world, allowing them to bring their own unique and personal style to the performance. When blended together, it makes for a beautiful show.
Dance Theatre of Harlem may be a small company of 18 dancers, but they know how to put on a show. Their performances, engagement with the community, and education help inspire dancers to enjoy the art. Just when you thought ballet was calm, the Dance Theatre of Harlem will change your mind with the contemporary twists they put on during performances.
Where: Chautauqua Institution, 1 Ames Ave, Chautauqua, NY, or Everett Center for Performing Arts, 466 West 152nd St
4. Joffrey Ballet School
If you are curious about trying ballet yourself, Joffrey Ballet School is a great place to look. Whether you are new or getting back into ballet, there is a class for everyone to enjoy. This school also offers various classes, from beginner’s ballet to a pre-professional performing ensemble. The dancers that attend here have been working hard to gain the skills to participate in the classic routines.
At Joffrey Ballet School, they strive to make students of dance into passionate, open-minded, strong, and versatile performers that can keep up with the times. That’s why they make it easy for anyone to drop into a class and give ballet a try. Check out their website to learn more about their classes or stop by in-person to inquire!
Where: 434 Ave of the Americas, 3rd Floor
5. Lincoln Center Out of Doors
This location offers it all, but especially great ballet performances. Lincoln Center Out of Doors provides the perfect setting to enjoy a show outside. This outdoor venue gives a unique spin on a performance that you wouldn’t normally get indoors. Bring a chair or a blanket and post up to enjoy a nice summer evening!
They offer tons of free events to the community and host many different types of shows for all to enjoy. This is also a great spot to meet others with similar tastes and learn more about the arts.
Where: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza
6. New Chamber Ballet
Can we be honest? New Chamber Ballet knows how to put on a show. Since opening in 2004, its founder Miro Magloire has performed in various venues with its all-female company. Their dancers have performed all over the world but their roots are set here in NYC.
The reason we love New Chamber is because of their mix of ballet and contemporary choreography. The founder Miro says he got his influence from the New York City Ballet founders, so the combination and elegance of both styles is evident.
Where: Various Locations
7. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
If you are looking for classes or want to see a performance, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will offer both! The Alvin Ailey School is open to those in the public interested in taking classes. For dancers in pre-professional or professional levels, they also offer more intensive classes for those with more expertise. Ballet can be started at any age and Alvin Ailey’s teaching staff makes it fun to learn.
Check out their upcoming performances on their website. They will be performing at various locations around the city.
Where: 405 W 55th St
8. The Joyce Theater
Hosting different dance companies from all over, The Joyce Theater is one of our favorite local venues. You’ll find that in addition to ballet in NYC, there are several types of dance to fit every mood. This theater is perfect for both small and larger dance companies and seats about 400 people.
Be sure to check out their website to see their upcoming performances, because the range in genre and variety is huge.
Where: Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave
9. New York City Center
Last but not least on our list is the New York City Center, one of our favorite spots to watch either dance or musical theater. It welcomes all types of shows and inspires others in the community at the same time. You’ll love the setting and how it can bring even more to the shows put on the stage.
This space has been hosting the arts for decades and provides the perfect feel for it. From ballet to flamenco, NYCC hosts all kinds of events (and for a great price). Be sure to check out their schedule to see what’s coming up.
Where: 131 W 55th St