Does your kid like to boogie? Encourage her natural talent for getting into the groove by enrolling her in a fun dance class. Little ones as young as 18 months will benefit from the social aspect of engaging with their peers in a group setting. Older toddlers and big kids will learn listening skills and hone coordination while boosting their self-esteem and confidence. Get your child a healthy dose of exercise at one of the dance studios listed here, which all offer non-competitive environments that seek to introduce tiny dancers to the spirit and joy behind dance and movement.
In addition to tap and ballet classes, Culver City based Creation Station boasts a fantastic variety of engaging and entertaining classes that cater to tots. Little girls will absolutely love their ‘Princess Series’ Ballet class, which is a storybook dance class based on beloved fairy tales and ballet stories. During ten week sessions, pint-sized princesses will learn to ‘tell a story with their body’ via ballet, tap, jazz, and creative movement. Classics including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker have all been explored in this class. Toddlers as young as 18 month old can also start toe-tapping in the highly interactive and playful ‘Tots and Tutus’ (adult participation required) class, which features puppets, musical instruments, and bubbles to introduce wee ones to dance while honing their gross motor skills. Other standout classes include ‘Pip Hop,’ a hip hop class for pip-squeaks, and ‘Musical Theater,’ which combines singing and dancing along to Broadway’s greatest hits.
Center Stage Dance LA
Center Stage Dance LA in Studio City offers classes for kids ages 3 and up. Class offerings include preschool and kindergarten ballet and tap, beginning jazz, and pre-hip hop. As children grow and develop their skills, they advance to intermediate level classes. Center Stage Dance LA also offers an all boys hip hop class for first and second graders. Some qualities that set this dance studio apart include their ‘floating’ dance floor, which rests on a system of high-density foam and is designed to absorb the shock of jumping — making it a safer option for dancers, minimizing the stress to bones and joints. Another bonus is the small class sizes, which is key for small children who require personalized instruction and added attention. Classes for students ages 3 to 8 years have a maximum of 10 students per class in their small studio and 12 max in their large studio.
L.A. Dance Fit Studio
For those aspiring ballerinas, Studio A Dance offers a ballet/tap combo class geared towards the 3-4 set. Great for beginners, Aimee introduces young dancers to the discipline, joy, and physicality of dance. While basic ballet and tap technique and combinations are the primary focus for the class, kids are also encouraged to use creative movement and practice storytelling through dance as well as building their own routines. Bonus: they also offer karate classes for kids ages 4-6.
Twinkle Toes Dance Company
Karen Hayes, Director of Twinkle Toes Dance Company, is also the mother of a five year old daughter, which gives her added insight and perspective on teaching dance to young kids. She asserts that the focus of dance classes at a tot level should be ‘fun,’ and that parents should seek instructors who ‘inspire creativity and joy of movement, while empowering children to be confident and expressive.’ Hayes also believes kids should learn proper techniques and vocabulary with regard to dance, and will grow in a setting which enables them to learn listening skills and how to interact with their peers. Twinkle Toes classes are held at Sprout Creative Arts Studio in Highland Park. The curriculum for ages 16 months and up includes a ballet babies parent and me class, pre-ballet, toddler ballet, preschool ballet, creative ballet, yogi playground, ballet/tap combo, preschool ballet and hip hop, kids Zumba, intro to contemporary/modern dance, and more!
Dance for Kids Brentwood
This great studio doesn’t miss a step, offering classes including ballet, tap, tumbling for 3 and 4 year olds, and ballet, tap and jazz for five and six year olds. Ballet and tap classes are also on the roster for 4 and 5 year olds, and tiny ballerinas can get in on the action starting at age 2 in the mommy & me class. Class sizes at Dance for Kids Brentwood are kept small to allow for individual attention.
Heartbeat House is a neighborhood studio in Atwater Village that offers a unique variety of dance and movement classes for kids. From kids Capoeira, which combines martial arts, dance, music, and song to Hatha and Kundalini yoga for kids. More traditional dance classes also include pre-ballet for kids ages 2-3, and pre-ballet 1 & 2 for kids ages 4-5. Kids ages 5-10 may opt for their kids hip hop class, which expertly teaches the fundamentals of hip hop movement and rhythm in a fun, noncompetitive environment.
What kind of dance do your kids love most? What studios or dance classes do they go for
— Beth Shea
photo credit: Twinkle Toes Facebook page, Dance for Kids Brentwood, Center Stage Dance L.A. Facebook page,