Not Your Sister’s Ballet Class

If you look at what a dancer does, it is incredibly challenging, aerobic, and demands flexibility. Because the fundamental element of dance is not gender specific, many professional athletes take dance classes as a method of cross-training. In 1985, New York Jets receiver, Al Toon told The New York Times that he credits his ability to “break tackles” to dance and Tai Chi.

While perhaps novel in 1985, professional athletes have come to appreciate all that dance classes have to offer—movement skills, quick foot work, body and spatial awareness. With that in mind, The School at Steps, on the Upper West Side, is introducing a new class called For Boys Only (F.B.O.) to their roster of winter classes for young dancers.

For Boys Only (F.B.O.), open to boys ages 4 and 5, begins February 1. Taught by Matt Williams (who also teaches advanced theater dance and jazz at The School at Steps) and Luke Muscat, each class is accompanied by percussionist, Giancarlo De Trizio. Students will use imagery to play out fun, story-oriented adventures and express themselves as different characters such as astronauts, explorers, zookeepers, and more.  Williams notes, “I look at it as a kind of class that combines motor skills with creativity. It’s a very fun way for boys to explore self-expression.”

“This class is exciting for us because we have always encouraged boys to dance,” says Kate Thomas, Director of The School at Steps. “And now, we are creating an environment that welcomes them, feels comfortable, and is a movement class rather than a ballet class.”

Dance is also a great way to help boys and girls understand how their bodies work. They can actually tap into that physicality by taking a dance class, as they will learn body coordination while moving in an expressive and creative way.

The School hopes young boys and their parents will be eager to try out a dance class because it is more than just an outlet of creative expression. “We want boys to understand that the skills gained in dance classes can be applied anywhere,” Thomas said. “We’re teaching them confidence, agility and teamwork… all of which benefit young people, in any profession or future endeavor.”

For Boys Only (F.B.O) will be held Mondays from 3:15-4:00pm, beginning February 1 and ending in late May. Registration is now open on The School of Steps’ website. For more information, call 212-874-3678 or visit

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