Monday, December 8, 2014

Raleigh School of Ballet

I spent last week on business in Raleigh, NC. I try to get to a ballet class or two during the week even when I'm traveling, so I spent some time trying to find a suitable studio.

Kaija suggested two schools, but neither had classes at times I could make. Finally I decided to try the Raleigh School of Ballet.
I dropped in on the Tuesday night "Ballet Level 2" class. The facility has three separate classrooms, each with heat-sealed Marley laid over a sprung floor. Music is provided via CD players with speed adjustment controls and nice-sounding speakers, rather than the live pianists I've become used to. There is a proper, if tiny, changing room for men with an attached bathroom; I think it's safe to presume the women have a larger facility. There is parking on-site, which was quite crowded when I arrived due to kids classes that were about to let out.

I was told the average size of this class was about 14, but that night there were eight of us. Supposedly there is a male student who takes this class fairly regularly, but he wasn't in attendance. This night I got to try both of the smaller of the three classrooms because the CD player in the first room died part way through barre. Neither was as big as the classrooms at either Ballet San Jose or back home, and the center work involved some running back in the middle. Still, I enjoyed the class, and would have taken another class Thursday night except I had to work late.

Over all I was quite pleased with the place except for one thing: their prices. Their single class rate of $25 is quite a bit higher than others in the area, and $5 more than I'm paying in the Washington, DC, suburbs. They do offer discounts if you're willing to pre-pay for a block, but their 6-class rate is still $1 more per class than the just-raised 10-class rate I'm paying now, and is only good for 5 months rather than a full year. I'm not sure how they justify these rates, but they don't seem to be lacking for students.

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