Getting to the pointe: Ballet star schools Bed-Stuy youngsters

Dancing shoes: Little ballerinas learned some prima tips from real-life ballerina Michele Lee Wiles at the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA on Saturday.
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These tiny dancers were spinning out!

Bedford-Stuyvesant’s tiniest tutu-ed tots had a blast learning to plié and pirouette with a real-life ballerina at their local Y on Saturday, when former American Ballet Theatre star Michele Lee Wiles came by for a special lesson.

“They had a fantastic time, and they felt like ballerinas for the day,” said the center’s senior managing director Sonia Atherly.

Wiles, who was a principal dancer with the famed company and now runs experimental studio Ballet Next, led the class of little girls between the ages of 3 and 6 in some stretches and standard ballet moves to music from holiday classic “The Nutcracker.”

The youngsters — part of the Y’s Tiny Toes program — twirled, leapt across the studio, and practiced at the ballet bar, according to Atherly.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA has been teaming up with Wiles and fellow Ballet Next dancers for three years to give aspiring ballerinas a taste of the authentic prima experience at summer camps and other workshops.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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