The Obie and AUDELCO Award-winning Billie Holiday Theatre is a state-of-the-art creative campus located at Restoration Plaza in the historic Black cultural mecca of Bedford Stuyvesant, home to such artistic luminaries as Lena Horne, Max Roach, Eubie Blake, Stepahnie Mills, Ben Vereen, Jay Z, Yasiin Bey, and more and the only multi-platform performing arts center with a 22-year old education program led by, for, and accountable to people of African descent in the heart of the largest African American community in the nation: Central Brooklyn. For 48 years, The Billie has elevated and promoted the critical voices of Black artists, and the stories of the complex journey toward freedom for people of African descent, a journey that is far from over. 


The Youth Arts Academy (YAA) is a world class arts institution with a faculty of master instructors that foster the love of dance, theater, percussion and visual arts. With the love of education and the creative integrity of the arts, our children’s wings are widespread enabling them to soar above their dreams. A cornerstone of The Center for Arts & Culture at Bed-Stuy Restoration, the Youth Arts Academy provides multi-disciplinary arts instruction in dance, music and drama for children between the ages of 3 and 18 years old.


An audition is only required for students in the Pre-Professional Dance Program. Registration is required for all other classes and dance, drama, and drumming. Tuition is determined by the class level and the number of classes taken per week with two payment options: payment in full or in a five month installment plan.

In person classes are held at the YAA Building:

247 Herkimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11216


For more information, call: (718) 636-6995
or email:




Instructions to register on “Mindbody Site”:

1. Follow the link (make sure it says “Youth Arts Academy” on your page)
2. Click “create account”
3. Complete all the required information (name, address, billing information, etc)

Please contact us directly if you have any questions navigating the Mindbody App by contacting

In person registration is also available by appointment only.


  • Audition Required
  • Ages 13-18
  • Ballet I Modern Contemporary Dance I Hip Hop Dance I African Dance
  • 32 weeks of class instruction
  • Additional Specialized masterclass (Broadway Dance, Rockettes, Afro Beats, Audition, Jazz, Composition/Choreography, Improvisation)
  • Winter and Spring Intensives
  • Summer Institute in Dance, Drama and Drumming
  • 22 year partnership with BAM’s DanceAfrica
  • 300 plus students reached annually
  • Renowned leadership team and faculty | 12:1 ratio
  • Performance opportunities for all students
  • Full Scholarship to EVIDENCE Dance Company Summer Intensive & Workshop


  • Educational Program – Ages 3-18
  • Classes begin on Saturday, September 23. We guarantee 32 weeks of instruction classes per season.
  • Classes offered: Drama | Drumming Ballet | Modern Contemporary Dance | Hip Hop Dance | African Dance
  • We offer multiple levels in Ballet, Modern (Horton), West African (Guinea & Sabar), Hip Hop, African Drumming and Drama taught by our illustrious and certified faculty.
  • For dancers 3-5 years old, we offer a Creative Movement Pre Ballet class for your child to learn the basics of ballet while exploring their creativity and love for dance.
  • Register online at our “MindBody” app link.
  • Pay in full and receive a 10% discount or register for automatic monthly payments
  • For Dancers 12-18 we offer a Pre-professional Training Program (by audition only) full of dynamic technique classes to prepare your child for College Auditions and Scholarships
  • Pre Professional students perform locally and receive free masterclasses taught by professional choreographers in the dance field
  • ALL students perform in our Annual June Concert





The Billie Holiday Theatre’s Education Department remains committed to maintaining a healthy environment for all students, staff, faculty, parents, and visitors. Your health and safety remain our biggest priority as we begin the fall session. We will continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control, New York State, and New York City as circumstances continue to change. It is critical that we do everything we can to use the building safely, prevent the spread of COVID-19, and protect all those who enter and exit the building. We have developed the following safety policies and thank you in advance for your cooperation and help in creating a safe environment for our community.

Arrival and Screening

  • Proof of vaccination will no longer be required for members, program participants, and visitors to enter The Youth Arts Academy (YAA). Face coverings will be optional for students in early childhood schools or programs. The YAA strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to continue to wear a mask while at YAA, regardless of vaccination status. Anyone who chooses to wear a mask may continue to do so, and may request a mask from any staff member.

Cleaning Protocols

  • The Billie is committed to ensuring the highest standard of cleaning and sanitizing throughout the building, including:
  • Daily enhanced cleaning and disinfection in accordance with CDC and health official recommendations.
  • Air purifiers and enhanced ventilation; MERV-13 filters are used to filter out particles for coughs/sneezes, steam, and vapor.
  • Added time between classes to allow for extra cleaning, airing of rooms, and reduced traffic flow.

Vaccination Policy
Proof of vaccination will no longer be required for faculty, program participants, and visitors to enter YAA.

As a reminder:
If you are not yet vaccinated or have not yet received your booster shot, we encourage you to do so. You can find all of New York City’s free vaccination clinics here.

If you’re not feeling well, please help protect your neighbors and don’t enter YAA. If you’d like to get a free COVID test, you can do so at one of New York City’s COVID testing sites.

If you have any questions about The Billie Holiday Theatre’s Education Department protocols, please contact


The Black Arts Institute is an immersive acting program offered in partnership between the Billie Holiday Theatre and Stella Adler Studio. The Institute offers two programs in 2021 exploring the history of the contemporary Black theater tradition with courses held at the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, NY. Applications are open for the Black Arts Institute Summer Intensive, a five-week comprehensive exploration of the history of the contemporary Black theater tradition, led by a world-class faculty. Students will leave with an understanding of the aesthetic, socio-cultural and historical components involved in bringing contemporary Black theater to life. The program will highlight certain key historical moments like the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Power movement and the genesis of the Negro Ensemble Company, as well as many Black theaters that emerged during the Black Arts Movement.