Dance Classes for Teens & Preteens
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My daughter is interested in learning ballet. Ideally, she would prefer a class
with other teens (rather than 6 y.o. or adults), and an environment that is
serious about ballet but not preprofessional. Shawl-Anderson has received
positive reviews on BPN in the past, but I'd like to hear about the recent
experiences of other teens who started ballet lessons as teens, either there or
at other studios. What did you or your teen consider when you were looking for a
studio? We're interested in studios in Berkeley, North Oakland, or Albany. BTW,
she took lessons for a year when she was 5, but doesn't really remember it.
Mom of exploring teen
About Shawl-Anderson....there are several dancers at Shawl-Anderson who follow a teacher
and attend all of that teacher's classes. This means that very advanced dancers can be
in a beginning class! My teen found this very intimidating because it seemed that
everyone else was getting the choreography faster than she was. I think this may be the
experience at many dance studios, but it might be useful to give her a heads-up.
My son started ballet when he was much older, at 21. He's tried lots of places. He liked
Berkeley Ballet Theater, on College, which has good teachers and a warm atmosphere. He
also loves the SF Academy of Ballet, right at Church and Market. He takes BART and
transfers to MUNI and then is right there, just by the MUNI stop. They have a good and
thorough and progressive program for young people that is after school and then in the
summer, with individual attention for the students and good teachers.
hope she has fun!
My 13 year old would like to take either a dance camp this summer, OR a summer dance
class that meets more than once a week. Anything in the Berkeley/Albany/El
Cerrito/Richmond area would be great. She is a beginning dancer, but wants to do
Hurry! It's almost April!!
My daughter has attended DanceVersity
summer camp at Ashkenaz in Berkeley for many
years, and has always loved it. The students have a wide range of dance experience, from
none to lots. All levels are welcome, and together they learn new forms of dance from
all over the world. (The kids are grouped by age, not ''level.'') It's a casual, fun
environment, and the teachers are great.
You can find more information at danceversity.com.
Our 13 year old would like to attend a dance camp this summer. She is
pretty new to dancing, but really enjoys it. She would like to go to a
camp that meets every day (she wants to improve, but most classes are
only offered once a week, so she is frustrated).
We live in El Cerrito, which is ideal, but will also consider Richmond,
Albany, or Berkeley. Oakland, if near BART.
Not a Dance Mom
If she's into ballet, Berkeley Ballet Theater offers a summer intensive program. The
beginner and beginner/intermediate levels will be held July 8-26 this year, 9:00-5:00.
You can sign up for one to three weeks. In addition to ballet, last year's classes
included character, modern, musical theater, yoga, and choreography. More info is
available on BBT's website:http://www.berkeleyballet.org/summer_workshops.php
Try Katie's Dance Studio on San Pablo in El Cerrito. They do at least a one-week dance
camp every summer and I've heard talk of them doing more this year. Katie can be
reached at 925-229-2695 or at the studio 524-1310. ~ Dance Mom
You may want to look into Danspace (Danspace.com). I checked the website and this
summer's offerings aren't up but you can see what they did last year. It's on Hudson
near Claremont which is only a 5 or 6 blocks from the Rockridge station.
My daughter has been attending classes there since she was almost 4; she's 8 now and we
moved to Alameda a year and a half ago and we're still going. She hasn't taken any
summer classes there but I was thinking about it for her this year.
Their philosophy around dance is to take it seriously but not to be too serious with
the kids. They are very age-appropriate in all of their dance classes which I like.
Call them, or send an email and see what they have to say. I'm sure they'd put your
daughter in the right place for her and it's a great place to experience dance.
My 12 year old would like to take dance, and has been taking at Katie's Dance Studio,
in El Cerrito. She likes it, but the class is only offered one day a week. She would
like to attend a dance studio or take classes several times a week, not just once (that
is, something like three jazz dance classes per week). She is a beginner.
We live in El Cerrito, and ideally, I do not want to drive far.
El Cerrito mom
My daughter thoroughly enjoyed dancing at Cerrito Dance Arts in El Cerrito
from 7 years old through high school. There is a variety of dance styles
and classes offered: Jazz, Tap and Ballet. Maryse Young has run the program
for many years. Address is 1534 Kearny St. El Cerrito. The following info
comes from their web posting: CERRITO DANCE ARTS CENTER
Please call us with any questions at: 510.527.9255 (office). 510.234.2780
(studio ). or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. or stop on by for a
drop in class!
If your daughter likes Katie's, I'd recommend taking more classes there.
The prices are very competitive, and the price goes down the more classes
you take. I'd call Katie and get some recommendations on additional
classes to try out; find a couple more classes (either jazz, hip hop, or
whatever she wants to try), so she can have multiple teachers, and be there
A happy Katie's mom
This is kind of a silly question, halfway in between ''reommendations''
and ''advice.'' How does a not-
naturally-great-dancer pre-teen kid learn how to dance in a
not-ridiculous-looking way to Top 40 dance music? I see my child's
friends moving to this music in ways that look pretty cool, but have no
idea how they're learning to do that. Is there a modern equivalent of
the 1970s' ''Soul Train,'' videos that can be rented, etc.? I wouldn't
mind knowing how not to look like an idiot on the dance floor myself!
They learn from videos on youtube or interactive game
systems such as wii or xbox. The latter are actually fun for
adults too. They're easier to learn from (moves are repeated
and you can choose level of difficulty) and you can see
yourself on the tv screen to see how you actually look. It's
also a great workout. Ask among your friends to see who has
one of the consoles with a dance game, see if you (or your
child) can try it out. You can also rent consoles (just
Google it) or buy them used (Craigslist is a great place for
wii). New Dancer
I'd say use a Wii and get one of the Just Dance (1-3) programs. You
and your kid can learn a lot of steps to popular songs. Good exercise
for you, too!
I think this is a great question. I would recommend any of
the dance games, i.e, Wii Just Dance, Michael Jackson the
The songs are fairly current and you will get some dance moves that
don't look completely ridiculous. On the
goofiest side kids can do a whole dance routine when the
song comes on at school dance and it's lots of fun.
Also Youtube videos. That's where I taught myself how to do
the Dougie. They have tutorials! Totally wish I had that
when I was in middle school. Also, I love Michelle Obama
and Beyonce Let's Move: http://youtu.be/mYP4MgxDV2U
Awesome! Lots of great moves and lots of fun. dancing mama
I am looking for a beginning dance class for a 12 year old boy. He
has a fair amount of experience performing in musicals, but would
really benefit from a bit of dance training. He isn't the most
coordinated guy and I don't want to put him into a situation where
he'd feel awkward or uncomfortable, I just want him to learn more
about how to dance.
Call Katie at Katie's Dance Studio in El Cerrito. There are
boys in many of their classes, and I know there is at least
one ''boys only'' class. They teach tap/jazz, hip hop,
ballet, acrobatics, etc. Katie is the owner--925-229-2695.
Luna Kids Dance might be a good fit for your son:
I'm looking for a dance instructor for the 10 teenagers in the
court for my daughter's upcoming quinceanera. We need someone to
get together with the kids for a few times to teach them a
choreographed dance of the waltz and/or alternative dance.
Laurie Ann Lepoff of Social Dance for Shy People & Klutzes is a
wonderful dance teacher with 29 years experience. She's based in
Oakland and teaches a lot of different dances including waltz.
She's creative, non-judgmental, fun and good with young people. Her
website is www.stepsontoes.com. You can also call her at
enjoy the party
Looking for summer dance classes for 15 year old girl with
several years of dance experience mostly in enthnic dances of
middle east. She is interested in exploring other dance forms
(Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz, etc.) Any recommendations is greatly
Cerrito Dance Art on Kearney at Potrero is a great little studio. Maryse Young teaches
tap (for adults as well as kids) as well as jazz and ballet, her college age son will be
teaching a tap/jazz class this summer, and her mother teaches a class in Hawaiian dance
for adults. They're all excellent dancers and great teachers. I highly recommend it.
got my tap shoes
My daughter stopped competitive ice-skating and wants to start dancing, she likes
modern dance especially, but is interested in all kind of dancing. Does anybody
recommend a good dance institute in Berkeley? Thank you!
My daughter took dance at Destiny Arts when she was younger and really liked it.
They have hip hop, modern and african dance, and martial arts. Here is their website
and phone number. http://www.destinyarts.org. (510) 597-1619.
Can any recommend a place for a 16 1/2 year old to do ballet or jazz dance?
She has very little experience and is currently more than a bit out of shape
( actually she is heavy) but a long time ago used to do some ballet and
has a real gift for movement ( modern would be probably the best for her,
given that she is not long legged , but she says she prefers ballet or
jazz). Thanks for any suggestions.
Destiny Arts Center
Shawl-Anderson Dance Studio
Recommendations from 2000
My daughters have been taking a class in swing, salsa,walze, etc for months
now at Julia Morgan on College Ave. It is a fun class with a great
instructor. The population has been up and down, and right now it is down.
We could use some students in the class. The class for teenagers meets at
7:00 PM Friday. Adults meet at 8:00 PM. The class is $5 for the kids. I
don't know how much he charges for the adults.
Go down the walkway on the south side of the building. Up the brick steps.
It is the studio on your left. Try it out!
Sunsol (Jan 2000)
A senior girl recommends swing dancing classes in response to the
"Advice Needed" mom who is interested for some social dancing classes
for her son. Visit http://www.zootsuitswank.com. There's a live band
every Sunday night at Live Oak Park Rec Center, 6:30 for the class,
dance begins at 7:30. $9 includes the lesson ($6 after 7:30). All ages
welcome, but late teens through 20's predominate.
Michael (April 2000)
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