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My daughter is 6 1/2 yo first grader who loves to dance. She has taken creative movement, pre-ballet and gymnastics dance classes at Kids and Dance (Laurel Dist. Oakland) for 4 years. After a break of four months, she is asking to start classes again. I am looking towards the next level of class that will offer more rigor in terms technique and studio discipline. I am looking for a dance school/company that she can grow into over the next several years. Things that are important are: Ability to nurture the fun and creativity of dance for young dancers while developing their discipline; performance opportunities for lower level students; emphasis on ballet as providing an essential grammar and technique; opportunities for instruction in a diversity of styles and techniques; and ability to prepare highly motivated students for advanced level classes and/or pre-professional and professional training (her aunt had a successful career as a professional ballet and modern dancer, and my daughter us ''interested,'' insofar as a first grader can be, in being a dancer when she grows up). We live in the East Bay, she attends school in San Francisco. We are open to considering studios Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, or Emeryville for weekend classes; and in San Francisco after 4pm on Tuesdays though Fridays. I have read the posted reviews, and am seeking updates. What worked for your family's aspiring dancer, what did not, and why and how? Thanks in advance. SD
My daughter really loved the movement class she had at school last year, taught by an Alexander teacher, who is no longer with the school. I really would like her to find her a dance class that's Martha-Graham, free movement oriented, rather than one that teaches a particular form. She loves dancing around the house, making up her own dances, I imagine that someone where out there is a teacher in Oakland or Berkeley who tells kids to ''dance like snowflakes'', or ''be a tree'' Anyone got something they like that fits the bill? Searching Mama
Hi BPN; Looking for a good dance class in LaMOrinda or WC - not 'good' as in politically good and 'the' place to be, but 'good' as in building a solid dance foundation. Want tap, ballet, and general dance 'stuff' - not so much modern dance, as my girls are 6, 4.5 and 3 and some of that is a little uh, provocative, for this age - just my opinion. We have been LOVING Riverdance, so I think tap and ballet are a good place to start. Just want something that interests them and is great exercise, individual rather than team at this point, discipline, etc......but do not know where to start. I am not looking for a place that is concerned about the leotards and tutus......I want to build some skills and foundation. Please advise and thank you. DiscoMama
I saw there are some recommendations for wonderful dance instructors for young children in Berkeley and Oakland. We live in Fairfield, so getting to Berkeley and Oakland is a little too time-consuming on a weekday. Does anyone know of a fun dance instructor in Pleasant Hill, Concord, Walnut Creek or anywhere else in that area? If it helps, I have a 6 year old daughter and a 4 year old son who wanna dance! TIA! Michelle
Our son turns 5 in December and we are looking for a place to have a ''Dancing with Dinosaurs'' birthday party. he really likes hip hop dance but any kind of dancing will do. the place needs to accommodate 60 people(20 or so kids), let us bring food and be FUN! anyone have any idea please shoot me an email thanks!
I am looking for dance (type is flexible) or singing classes for my entering 2nd grade daughter. She is talented in both activities and we are wanting some afternoon classes for her to enjoy. Any assistance will be appreciated. Thank-you. Lisa
I'd appreciate recommendations for a dance class in the Lamorinda area (or Walnut Creek) on Saturdays or Sundays for my 5 year old daughter. We know about Kids-N-Dance in Lafayette, and we'd love names of some additional places to try. Thanks! Maryanne
Classes for 11-year-old
26 Apr 96
RE; Tall, 11 yr old daughter: She's definitely not too tall or too old. SHe may be around some 8 yr old beginners, but she'll learn fast. And that's better than being around other 11 yr old children who've been practicing for 3 years. So the rough part, subjectively, will be being tall. But if you tell her that good posture means being as tall as possible for everyone, then she may feel positive.
Re: the dance inquiry for an 11-year-old: it's definitely not too late to start! Once again, I recommend observing a class at the school you're interested in to get a feel for the teacher and the atmosphere. The dance studio I mentioned before, Luna, serves a diverse population of kids and adults and the owner, Patricia Reedy, believes very strongly in "life-long dancing" (any age, any body type).
There is a creative movement class at the Albany Y for children who are
and 6. They wear leotards, or leotards with tutus attached (it seemed that
was an essential part of your daughter's consideration.)It is on Tuesday
afternoon. The teacher is dynamic, and the movement/dance seems very age
appropriate. If the time
and/or place aren't convenient for you, maybe the teacher, Katherine,
teaches at other sites. C.D.
I've also heard good things about Little Dancing Feet for 2-4 year olds offered by the University Village Recreation Department in Albany Village. Call 524-4926 for specifics.
another more expensive option is the dance class offered for kids at Studio J in Berkeley on 8th Street near Parker. The adult jazz classes are terrific and have heard the class that's appropriate for 2 1/2 and up is a lot of fun. It's pricier though--it may be as much as $10-15/class. (Studio J is now The Beat)
El Cerrito Community Center
From: Rose (9/97)
Check out the El Cerrito Community Center. Rosalyn Jordan teaches ballet and tap in the afternoons. Classes are open to residents and non-residents and tend to be small. Also Katie's Dance Studio on San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito has combination jazz, tap and tumbling classes for 3 1/2 - 6 yr. olds on Monday nights and Wednesday afternoons. Call them at 524-1310 to get a current class schedule. Their classes tend to be larger, especially the Saturday ones, which tend to be too large.
Albany Community Center
From: Denise (3/98)
You asked about dance and music classes for your 3-yr-old. The Albany Community Center offers a class called "Barefoot Dancers" to residents and non-residents for 2-3 and 4-5 year-olds. They are usually on Monday afternoons 4:30-5 and saturdays from 10:30-11 and $6/drop-in or less if you sign up for the session. It's taught by Patricia d'Ottillie. Call 524-9283.
I had my daughter take ballet lessons at the Albany Community Center when she was 4-ish. It was quite good. Reasonable in cost, 1/2 hour classes, good location for us, and was" ballet" enough, (leotards, dance shoes and french names for the dance steps) but not overly strict. It also only required a 6-week (I think) commitment, as opposed to many of the more formal dance schools where classes are for an academic year. We found it age-appropriate at the time. Good luck. Judy Chess
A note on Albany Community Center: Mary Lyons the ballet teacher is only available on Fridays -- she teaches other days at other less age-appropriate places. These classes have become very popular and at 12 kids are now really too large to be very ideal for anyone. I guess I'll have to give up on the place.
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