You’re never too young or too old for dancing. Whether you prefer ballroom or ballet, the studios east of the Caldecott are sure to have a class to please anyone 18 months to 80. Looking to samba with your significant other or a spot for your kindergartener to tap her heart out? Tweens want to hip-hop? Grandma want to Foxtrot? These places have got you covered.
Raising the Barre
You don’t have to go far to find a studio for the serious ballerina. CAPA, the California Academy of Performing Arts in Moraga’s Rheem Plaza has Intro to Dance classes for children beginning at age 3. In addition, this well-respected school has an array of jazz, tap and tumbling/acrobatics. Talented, hardworking students may earn a place in one of CAPA’s performing ensembles, ballet company or production groups, members of which are eligible for solos in the school’s June Showcase and winter Nutcracker performances. Many alum of the Academy have been accepted into elite dance programs such as the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, the Boshoi Ballet, Juilliard and the American Ballet Theater.
In addition to continuing programs for kids in ballet, tap and contemporary dance, The Ballet School, offers drop in classes for teens and adults, in Broadway, Zumba and Pilates mat. The school’s training program in ballet begins at age 3.5 and continues through age 20, while contemporary, tap and Broadway run from age 5 to age 11. Tap is open to all levels. Enrolled ballet students participate in two ticketed performances: a June Demonstration showcase, and in the school’s original Once Upon a Christmas show at the Lesher Center for the Arts in December. Looking for a place for the littles to let out their wiggles? The Ballet School has creative dance for children ages 2-3.5 most days. Buy a 10-class punch card and pop into a class whenever the mood strikes.
For an introduction to the medium sign the young ones up for Orinda Ballet Academy’s pre-ballet creative dance. Children will love the princess tea parties, butterfly dances and creative stretching and will engage in creative movement, coordination and basic steps through a curriculum set to classical music. Open to kids beginning at age 3. Older students enrolled in the Performing Class Packages will have the opportunity to take the stage at one of the Academy’s three end of term shows at the Orinda Library Auditorium.
In It To Win It
Future Maddie Zieglers should check out Ace Dance Academy on Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Walnut Creek. Ace dancers can get their groove on in tap, ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip hop starting at 3-4 years old. Kids who get their kicks performing for a crowd will feel right at home in the studio’s interdisciplinary Ensemble which shows its stuff at local community events as well as dance competitions around the Bay Area. Aspiring Ensemble members must be at least 7 years old, have a year of dance instruction under their belt and make the cut at the studio’s spring auditions.
Also for those who love the limelight, Dance Fusion Company asks dancers to audition in May for their performance team. Hip hoppers and jazz lovers can take regular classes starting as early as age 5 while tappers must be at least 8 and ballerinas 9. The season of dance culminates for Dance Fusion in a two-night show on the professional stage at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center in the early summer.
Even the smallest ballerinas have a place at Evolution Dance Center Whether you want to tug on the tutu and join in is up to you. With mommy and me classes for toddlers as young as 18 months, this is your chance to take a spin on the dance floor with your favorite little partner. Afraid you’ll fall flat on your face? Not to worry. Let the instructors at Evolution do the teaching while you sip a latte from the comfort of a nice, sturdy chair. Classes for kids include ballet, tap, hip hop, lyrical and musical theater.
From Parent and Me to creative movement and pre-ballet, Kids N’ Dance has the ideal classes to get the littles started beginning at 18 months. With a philosophy that blends creativity and flexibility with a fun introduction to the world of dance, children here are not forced into the typical rigid format of classical ballet study. Their children’s dance company, open to students 6 and up by audition only, integrates jazz, ballet, modern tap and hip hop. Not just for dancers, the studio has a wide range of classes in musical theater, circus arts and Parkour; there’s even a silks class for adults.
Having a Ball
Worried about tripping over your new spouse’s feet during the first dance at your wedding? Hoping to take a spin on the floor with your sweetheart? Arthur Murray in Walnut Creek can teach you the moves in no time. Start with a free private lesson or sign up for one of their wedding classes and they’ll even help you pick some music for the your special day. Looking to get into competitive ballroom dancing but not ready for the big stage? Start small by competing at one of their in-studio practice parties or open houses before moving up to district showcases and then on to Dance O’ Rama, a major exhibition that takes place at different venues in or outside the country. If you simply want to learn ballroom for the fun of it, Arthur Murray also has social dance classes for both young and old. Kids age 5 or older can join in their Youth Jam classes and learn to salsa, samba and tango. Watch out! They might show you up on the dance floor.
Learn to mambo in Lafayette at Sizzling Latin, a dance sport coaching studio on Almanor Lane or surprise your SO with a lesson for date night and learn some salsa or swing. Getting hitched? Book a Wedding Package and learn “jaw dropping choreography” to wow your guests during your first dance. Regular adult classes are available in a wide variety of dance styles, including jive and swing, tango, rumba, bolero and more. For those with bigger ambitions, Sizzling Latin will pair you up with a professional dance partner for events or competitions. Kids pre-K through high school are also welcome at the studio.
Mixing It Up
Moraga’s Joy In Motion has something for everyone. From boys jonesing to hip hop to adults hoping to tap, JiM will make your dreams come true. A full schedule of jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip hop and more make it easy to find what you’re looking for no matter what your age or style. The studio puts on a performance at Miramonte high school each spring where students can show off their skills.
You just want to get your groove on and feel alive? Hipline in Oakland is a quick drive away and a great way to let loose. Sign up for classes or drop in with passes to this woman owned studio only has movement on the menu. Choose from 'Shimmy Pop', 'Power Pop' or 'Stretchy Pop' for the regular classes or pursue a Latin vibe with the Samba-based offerings. Put on something comfortable, step out of the confines of suburbia and let your light shine through at Oakland's chillest dance studio. Once you've stepped firmly into your coolest self, throw some Ecstatic Dance on the menu. Sunday morning 'rave like' atmosphere where hundreds of individuals join together as a supportive community every week to dance wildly and freely in a safe, inspiring and substance-free space. People connect with themselves, spirit and one another through freeform dance and music.
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