Best Dance Classes for Kids in Los Angeles: Ballet, Hip Hop, Toddler
Want a dance class for your kid? You live in the right city for this kids' activity! Whether you want your kid to learn to be just a little more coordinated or you dream of the "World of Dance" competitions, tiny dancers can bust a move at a hip hop class or twirl in tutus in ballet class at the perfect dance class in the Los Angeles area. From ballet classes on the Westside to hip hop classes in the Valley to tap dance classes in Orange County, toddlers through teens are sure to find a class that fits their dancing dreams.
Get your ballet shoes on and "chasse" through these dance class options that include the top kids programs in LA and surrounding neighborhoods. And don't forget to check out our guide to the Best Kids Classes and Activities in Los Angeles for other great baby classes, toddler classes, and big kid classes in LA.
Did you know you can now book classes and more activities directly from the Mommy Poppins calendar? Find events with the "book it" button or filter for classes for simple registration in just a few clicks. Here are some of our picks for virtual and local LA classes available now!
Best Dance Classes for Kids in Los Angeles
1. Lula Washington Dance School — Leimert Park
If you haven't heard of the Lula Washington Dance School, have a look! Established in 1983 with the hopes of inspiring kids from low-income neighborhoods who might not otherwise have access to dance classes, the school still thrives today offering professional instruction in ballet, hip hop, modern, African, and tap. In its nearly 30 years, Lula Washington has reached out to 45,000 dance students, offering an alternative to the realities of drugs and violence, and inspiring self-esteem, a positive work ethic, and above all a love of dance in all who dance here. Whether your child wants to get a taste of dance, or dreams of a name on a theater marquee, Lula Washington is a rich and promising place to start. Lula Washington herself also runs the Lula Washington Dance Theatre, an ensemble that tours internationally and performs locally.
2. Debbie Allen Dance Academy — Baldwin Hills
Can you walk into Debbie Allen's studio without humming the Fame theme? There's only one way to find out. Arts education matters, and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy spreads the reach, providing a place for all who are inspired by dance and theater to find opportunity. Debbie Allen seeks those with a passion and commitment to dance, and offers a rigorous course and rewarding program. Read more about the Pre-Academy and Academy offerings and requirements to see if it's a right fit for your budding dancer. Auditions required
3. Sophie Dance - Mid-City and Santa Monica
Ages 1.5-16 years
From baby ballet to invitation-only pointe classes for teens, Sophie Dance not only runs the gamut of ballet classes, but also offers classes for Hip Hop and Tricks, Contemporary Lyrical, and even Parent and Me. While offering a wide range of classes, Sophie Dance always takes dance very seriously, encouraging technique and practice from the start.
Learn dance basics through storytelling at Petite Feet Dance. Photo by Meghan Rose
4. Petite Feet Dance — Eagle Rock
Petite Feet dance classes introduce dance techniques and terminology in fun and creative ways, through storytelling, original and familiar songs, and imaginative games. These classes teach kids the basics while really emphasizing self-esteem and self-expression. Plus, kids get to take classes with Miss Liz, one of the most encouraging and fun dance teachers in the city.
5. Blackbird Dance Company - Mid-City
Ages 4 & up
Hip hop, circus arts, dance, ballet, African dance, breakdancing, and more: Blackbird Dance introduces kids to a wide range of ways to move their bodies. In these classes that teach kids dance fundamentals and so much more, they become stronger (both physically and mentally), more confident, and more responsible.
6. Cleary Irish Dance - Multiple locations
Ages 4 & up
The motto here is "If you can walk, you can dance," and it doesn't matter if you have a drop of Irish blood. Students of all ages and levels study the traditional art form of Irish dance (reels, jigs, and hornpipes) in both soft and hard shoes. Kids can take it for fun or competition, and adults are welcome, too!
Tumble, tap, or twirl across the studio with a chasse or pirouette at INdustry Dance. Photo courtesy of the studio
Top Dance Classes for Valley Kids
7. California Dance Academy — Chatsworth
The California Dance Academy provides professional instruction for even the youngest aspiring dancer. Parents of current students rave about the expert instruction given at the level that meets each child's emotional and physical needs. Beginners, for example, perform in smaller recitals, meaning no nervous, frozen bodies and tears in front of an audience of 300. Choose from tap, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, pre-ballet, classical ballet, and pointe.
8. Garri Dance Studio — Burbank
Talk about praise. The Garri Dance Studio was voted "Best Dance Studio" five years running by the Burbank Reader's Choice Poll. What makes it so special? For starters it has been around for over 50 years, having opened in 1958 by Peg Garri, a former MGM stock dancer who danced with the likes of Shirley Temple. Today the studio still serves the local community by providing top-notch dance instruction in a newly renovated, naturally lit space with high beam ceilings and easy and ample (!) parking. With choices like Group Dance Theater, ballet, hip hop, combo, jazz, and ballet, there's something for almost everyone.
9. INdustry Dance — Sherman Oaks
INdustry Dance is a brand new, state-of-the-art dance studio with 4 dance studios and ABT quality floors. Your little one can tumble, tap, or twirl across the studio with a chasse or pirouette. Started by two moms with dance kids, INdustry aims to have a nurturing, family-friendly dance experience. Top-notch teachers teach even the little ones great technique in a fun environment, with a focus on teaching confidence and coordination.
10. Relevé Studios — Northridge
Parents and kids have nothing but great things to say about the classes and instruction at Releve Studios. The teachers, all professionals in their prime, offer just the right balance of challenge and encouragement, keeping kids engaged and eager to return. Latin Ballroom or Broadway Jazz anyone? They got 'em here, along with a host of other dance styles.
Cool Dance Classes for Kids on the Westside
11. DC Dance Center of Los Angeles — West LA
For 25 years, DC Dance LA has been providing professional dance training to children ages 3-18, and is home to the award winning DC Dance Company. The school has recently moved into a new 4,600-square-foot facility and offers classes in its indoor/outdoor open-air dance studio. Kids can take classes in ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, contemporary, modern, yoga, pre-ballet, tap, and musical theater!
12. Brentwood Academy of Dance - Dance For Kids (DFK) — Brentwood
Ages 19 mos. - adult
In the heart of Brentwood you'll find DFK, a vibrant studio with a mission to offer kids of all ages an opportunity to appreciate the art of dance. Only top teachers are hired, and each is charged with providing a fun and educational class experience. And that they do. Whether it's the Mommy and Me class, the pre-ballet, ballet, jazz, or hip hop (the list goes on), Dance for Kids boasts the return session after session after content little dancers eager to learn more.
13. Dance Star — Malibu
Ages 2-18 years
Right in Malibu, and not far from the ocean, you'll find Dance Star (located in the Malibu Lumber Yard), a popular destination for those seeking hip hop, ballet, jazz, tap, and musical theater classes. Come summer, it's summer camp only, with a wide variety of camp themes to choose from.
Choose from hula, salsa, tap, ballet, yoga, and even fitness classes at Kick It Up Dance & Fitness. Photo courtesy of the studio
Dance Classes for Kids in the South Bay and Orange County
14. Dance 1 — Redondo Beach
Ages 2 years - adult
Ballet. Jazz. Hip Hop. Tap. There's a spunky rhythm to that, and a unique rhythm as well to the classes offered at Dance 1. Excellent training and instruction are provided for everyone here, from the littlest to the more advanced. Parents appreciate the family atmosphere, the love and attention and gentle urging the teachers provide, and the joy they see in their children's faces as they master new moves. Daytime classes for homeschoolers are also available.
15. School of Dance and Music — Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach
Ages 1.5 years - adult
The dance floors alone make me want to check out the offerings. A couple thousand foam blocks support the floor creating a significant give that helps to prevent fatigue and injury. And the floor surface is similar to that used by the Royal Academy of Dance, and Riverdance-the-Touring-Show. But enough about floors. School of Dance and Music also offers top-rate instruction in tap, hip hop, ballet, modern, ballroom, and Mommy and Me. Small class sizes enable more individualized instruction. All that, and a few convenient locations to choose from.
16. Kick it Up Dance & Fitness — Long Beach
Ages 3 years - adult
Why not all dance and move together? That's the concept behind Kick It Up Dance & Fitness. It's a family affair here. With more than 100 classes offered each week, you can easily find a class for you that meets at the same time as a class for the kids, meaning you can all be active together. Choose from hula, salsa, tap, ballet, yoga, and even fitness classes like cardio and spinning. The list goes on!
Top photo courtesy of Debbie Allen Dance Academy
Originally published May 31, 2012