Ten-Second Takeaway

Got your gear ready? Head to Bandra to learn ballet from seventy-three year old Yehuda Maor, an Israeli ballet dancer who has been performing for over 40 years.

What Class Is This?

Maor teaches ballet for beginners every Wednesday and Saturday evening. The classes are open to anyone and everyone, and provide a beautiful, skilled and tranquil experience for anyone looking to get fit, get balanced and more in the city. If you’ve already tried pilates, this could be a great next step for you.

The teachers’ life stories are so unique that we feel it really elevates the class. Maor is surprisingly energetic. Having performed in shows around the world in France, the US, and then moving to teach classical ballet in San Francisco, Maor has done it all.

What To Expect

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The class is full and the studio is ready with the ballet bars in place. The session begins with a warm-up, and the playlist begins, transporting us to a ballet studio in France.

Though Yehuda does not perform anymore since his age and injuries have finally caught up with him, he teaches the students by illustrating with his hand movements.

His protege students, Aamir and Manish {both under 16 years of age}, one by one demonstrate what has to be done, and they do it perfectly. Both of these boys, who hail from the slums, have been learning with Yehuda for over two years now. They are both impeccable dancers, who have received full scholarships to study ballet at a university in the US.

Maor says, anyone can learn ballet {which we can see in the diversity of the class}, he does emphasise how a ballet dancer progresses does depend on the kind of body they posses, the postures they make and of course, their inherent dancing skills. We are told if you are willing to give time, then he is willing to invest his time in you. The class is in full swing, and we observed that as the class progressed, the tempo of the music picks up and everyone has to keep up with the fast-paced beats.

Why You Should Go

The youngest boy learning ballet there was just eight-years-old, whom we loved watching trying to perfect his pirouette {with precision, mind you}, to a woman in her thirties who joined the class two years back and hasn’t looked back. If this does not inspire you to join and learn from the master himself, we recommend going in and sitting for a class to fully experience this form. If you get bored at the gym {even though there are cheap options out there}, this is the spot for you.

So, We’re Saying…

Ballet is a beautiful form of dance, and it demands hard work and dedication. Of course, learning from the city’s most oldest and experienced teacher, who has worked with ballet legends including Natalia Makarova and Rudolf Nureyev isn’t a bad bargain at all.

#LBBTip: As the norm goes in ballet around the world, Yehuda gives out dance instructions in French. So if you want to learn and grow, you have to learn the technical terms in French, do research outside your class. As Yehuda, says, anyone can do ballet, but only a few become ballet dancers.

Photos: Aman Deshmukh/LBB