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Dance in Palo Alto: Highly Recommended Classes for Children ~ Sheena West
Young children grow so rapidly and quickly, don’t they? Now that your little one is more active, there has never been a better time to take classes in dance. Palo Alto has a wide range of children’s dance classes that will encourage your child’s passion for music and movement.Don’t know where to start looking? These highly-recommended dance schools should be your first stop.
Palo Alto’s Cubberley Community Center is home to Dance Visions, a non-profit community dance project that teaches a variety of dance styles to students of all ages.Dance master Laura Zweig handles the children’s classes – a series of ballet, tap, and modern dance programs designed for kids between the ages 3 and 14.Three and 4-year olds can start at the Creative Dance/Pre-Ballet program, where they get introduced to easy exercises, basic dance steps, and the joys of dance improvisation.For kindergarteners up to third graders, there’s Ballet and Modern Jazz, an introduction to the fundamentals of each dance style.Ballet instruction is only until third grade, but older children until 12th graders can take the Modern Dance classes to refine their technique and choreography. Parents have nothing but rave reviews about Dance Visions’ children’s classes, especially since they are allowed to stay and watch their kids groove on the dance floor.
If your child wants to keep dancing all-year round, consider Dance Connection, a dance studio dedicated to training and educating aspiring dancers.Voted “Family Favorite” by the Bay Area Parent Magazine, Dance Connection offers a child-friendly fall-to-spring curriculum that kicks off on the first Wednesday after Labor Day. Even though the school year has already started, there are the Summer Dance Camps and Summer Workshops to look forward to next year. The littlest dancers start out at the Pre-School Combination class, a program that teaches the fundamentals of ballet and tap with creative movement.From here onwards, students can move up to the graded combination dance class for tap, ballet, and jazz.Although many students at Dance Connection take the classes for fun, the school also provides the necessary training for talented dancers who want to go pro.
Parents always look forward to Dance Connection’s annual production of The Nutcracker for ballet students who are at least seven-years old.There is also the Spring Ballet, a recital where each ballet class performs a choreographed number in stunning costumes.Non-ballet students show off what they learned at Let’s Dance, the school’s spring performance for jazz, hip-hop, preschool, and musical theater students.
Since 1932, the Palo Alto has been nurturing the artistic and personal development of the city’s youth through the Palo Alto Children’s Theater. Now on its 29th year, the Theater has provided a number of extraordinary experiences and performing opportunities to Palo Alto kids of all ages.Youngsters between the ages of 6 and 12 can learn the basics of Tap and Hip Hop, while boys ages 7 to 12 have a special dance class where they learn the fundamentals of ballet, tap, and jazz in a comfortable and exciting manner.The Theater also offers Hungarian Folk Dance for children age 8 to 12, which is said to be the world’s most complex and beautiful folk dance.
These are all excellent choices of places to begin your search for your little one who is interested in dance in Palo Alto!
Sheena West writes for Bay Area for Kids, the social network and family resources guide exclusively for parents living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit Bay Area for Kids at http://www.bayareaforkids.com/