Thursday, March 26, 2020


Dear Axelrod Friend,

We are happy to announce the launch of an exciting online program for all students of the arts—no age or previous training requires—and all dance and theater enthusiasts. While a virtual dance or acting class cannot replace the experience of in-person training, our staff and guest instructors seek to provide practical and meaningful lessons for everyone wishing to participate.

Check out the first week’s offerings below, developed by Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater director, Gabriel Chajnik.

This week’s classes are complimentary to all!

We will be adding new classes with new instructors each week, so watch for an email or Facebook post.

Stay well and safe!

Dr. Arthur Topilow, President
Elise Feldman, AXCBT President
Jess Levy, CEO
Andrew DePrisco, Artistic Director

Message from Gabriel Chajnik, Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Director

Dear Axelrod families and supporters,

I am still trying to come to terms with having to teach classes or rehearse online from my home. How to feel about not having a student or a dancer’s body right in front of me? How to read a dancer’s body language from afar or to react to a subtle human response like exhaling? How to touch a heart through a computer screen?

How to feel... These are issues we are all thinking about and a challenge that I never saw coming.

Last Monday, I started to teach online and I was determined to keep the “normal” in class. I played beautiful ballet music, we worked on the delicate but powerful use of the arms and talked about being inspired and connected. Then, once I got over the first shocking moment, I saw their faces smiling...

I saw their toys on shelves in their rooms... I saw the kids holding on to a chair or sitting on their rugs dancing and focused on the present moment.

Yet, in the oddity of all, I felt hope and renewal! I saw their longing for dance, their hunger for moving, their love… it gave me the extra energy I needed and helped me continue with an unforgettable class.

My team and I are looking forward to continuing to inspire you and keep dance very close to your heart. We have been working on a free online syllabus of classes – a methodical but fun approach for all ages and skill levels. Whether you have dance training or not, our virtual classes will aid in strengthening your body in the discipline of your choice: ballet, contemporary, modern or jazz technique taught by AXCBT professionals.

Starting Friday (3/27) @ 4 pm EST, I will be offering AXCBT's first virtual, professional ballet class and updating everyone about our additional LIVE virtual classes! Everyone present will also meet AXCBT's president, Elise Feldman, who will be sharing her forward-thinking vision for our 2020 season.

CLICK HERE to register for this free virtual class!

CLICK THE LINK BELOW for additional class offerings. Looking forward to seeing you online! Stay safe.

Gabriel Chajnik -  Director AXCBT

Initial workshops are Free of Charge at this time, due to the generosity of our professional staff and artists.


New Virtual Classes include:

Dance Performance Workshop – for Teens w/ Dance Experience

Excellent for ballet and contemporary dancers, this workshop, taught by Gabriel Chajnik, is designed to maintain and improve a classical technique that supports and enhances each dancer’s objectives. Challenging and enjoyable, relaxed but focused, this class keeps the bar high in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Ballet Guest Artist Series with Tuiana Balzhieva

Starts at the very beginning and is designed for students who are completely new to ballet or rediscovering their love for it.

Somehow, Someday, Somewhere!

This West Side Story-themed class, taught by Gabriela Soto ('Shark Girl' of Spielberg's WSS film), offers students a chance to learn choreography from AXCBT's upcoming production Something's Coming, as well as Q & A opportunities with Gabriela regarding her experiences on set and what it takes to make it in the industry. A wonderful chance to learn insight from a pro!

Modern-Contemporary Mondays with Olivia Miranda

This class encourages dancers to free their bodies and dive into modern and contemporary movement. The class incorporates a warm-up rooted in ballet, Horton and Graham-based modern, and then invites students to build upon their technique by learning contemporary choreography. A great opportunity to explore a new style of movement!

Preschool 'Movers & Shakers'

AXCBT faculty member, Wendy Roman, teaches the youngest members of your family (along with adults) to discover their love of dance and movement, as well as enjoying storytime sessions and other fun activities.

Triple Threat: Musical Theater Jazz with Wendy Roman

Musical theater students can sometimes lack confidence in their dance training and may worry about how this will affect their chances for success down the road on Broadway. This class is for teens interested in honing their dance technique in a supportive, encouraging, and fun environment. This is a dynamic, high-energy class to get a leg up for your auditions!

Dance and Spoken Word

If poetry is the music of the written word – why shouldn't it be coupled with dance? This fun and exploratory class, guided by Fordham University theater educated Thomas Ryan Ward, seeks to combine a myriad of writing styles with contemporary dance. Students of all ages are encouraged to compose their own short poetic pieces and then (with the aid of an AXCBT dance pro) create a wholly original performance embodying both talents.

Acting for Dancers

Understanding the craft of acting is an essential tool for becoming a truly well-rounded dancer. This class focuses on students' expressing themselves fully onstage to interpret and communicate their character. Special guest speakers in the entertainment industry will be invited. No dance experience necessary.


We at APAC and AXCBT are very pleased to provide professional education for our community at large. Should you have the ability at this time to support us through a donation of any denomination, we would be truly grateful for your aid in fostering professional arts education and dance at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center.

         DONATE NOW                                               GIFT CERTIFICATES