Does your kid like to move like Jagger? Even if they don’t (and they move more like Elaine from Seinfeld), they can still benefit from a dance class! Dance classes encourage listening, following directions, exercise, building coordination, plus they are known to boost self-esteem and confidence. What we love about these dance studios is that they all offer non-competitive environments that seek to introduce tiny dancers to the basics of dance and movement—all while having fun of course.
photo: Larry G. via Yelp
In addition to tap and ballet classes, with locations in Culver City, Torrance, and more, Creation Station boasts a fantastic variety of engaging and entertaining classes that cater to tots. Little girls who love all things princess will adore their ‘Princess Series’ ballet class, which is a storybook dance class based on beloved fairy tales and ballet stories.
Toddlers as young as 16-months-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.
10746 Jefferson Blvd.
photo: Center Stage Dance
Center Stage Dance LA
Center Stage Dance LA in Studio City offers classes for kids ages 3 and up and 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.
What sets this studio apart from others is 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 3-8 years have a maximum of 10 students per class in their small studio and 12 max in their large studio.
12518 Riverside Dr.
Studio A Dance
For those aspiring ballerinas, Studio A Dance offers a ballet and tap class geared for ages 2-4. Great for beginners, Aimee Young Hopkins introduces young dancers to the discipline, joy, and physicality of dance. While basic ballet and tap technique and combinations are the primary focus of the class, kids are also encouraged to use creative movement and practice storytelling through dance as well as building their own routines. There are also hip-hop classes for kids ages 6 and up.
2306 Hyperion Ave.
photo: Twinkle Toes Dance Company via Facebook
Twinkle Toes Dance Company
Karen Hayes, Director of Twinkle Toes Dance Company, 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. Classes start as young as 18 months with a parent present.
5917 N Figueroa
photo: Dance for Kids Brentwood
Dance for Kids Brentwood
This great studio doesn’t miss a step, offering classes including ballet, tap and tumbling for 3 to 5-year-olds, and ballet, tap and jazz for 5 and 6-year-olds. 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.
11677 San Vicente Blvd #312
photo: Heartbeat House via Facebook
From Capoeira, which combines martial arts, dance, music, and song to Hatha and Kundalini yoga Heartbeat House is a neighborhood studio in Atwater Village that offers a unique variety of dance and movement classes 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, non-competitive environment.
3141 Glendale Blvd.
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—Beth Shea & Andie Huber