Dance studios and classes come in a variety of styles for all ages. Some focus on fun and fitness while others trend toward competition and professional training. Many offer classes starting with Mommy & Me for the youngest dancers, and expand their variety as children get older and more skilled. Whether the aspiring dancer is into ballet, jazz, tap, modern, or hip hop, this list has something for everyone from Center City to the 'burbs.
1. Philadelphia Dance Academy- Old City, Rittenhouse, Ardmore
For classical training in ballet and modern dance techniques, the Philadelphia Dance Academy offers classes for children starting in preschool all the way to adults. Philadelphia Dance Academy has three locations: Old City (which is their main location), Rittenhouse Square, and Ardmore which opens in September of this year. Instructors use the American Ballet Theatre® National Training Curriculum, a program that consists of a comprehensive set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines to provide the highest quality ballet training to dance students of all ages and skill levels.
2. Equilibrium Dance Academy- South Philadelphia
Equilibrium Dance Academy focuses on each dancer's individual development. With mainly after-school classes (there are a few Saturday sessions), Equilibrium focuses mostly on children age 5 and older. What sets this studio aparts is that every student may take one free trial class before registering. Additionally, they have professional dance flooring which best absorbs the impact of dancing and jumping minimizing injury and during every class, there is a manager at the front desk available in case parents have questions.
3. Merge Dance Studio- Manayunk
Merge's mission is to combine dance and fitness in a fun, positive environment. A pre-professional studio, Merge provides classes for the littlest ones starting at age 2 for Mommy/Daddy & Me sessions to adults for drop in Zumba®, Piloxing®, and/or BARRE Fusion classes. This spot offers affordable tuition, talented instructors, and an 'all dancers are treated equally' philosophy.
4. The Rock School for Dance Education- Philadelphia
For over 50 years, The Rock School has been focused on its mission to provide the best in dance training. Offering school year programs for young ones through adult, this comprehensive dance studio is located on the Avenue of the Arts and has five floors with six state of the art sprung-floors, an in-house costume shop, boutique, and a cafe. The Rock School also has summer classes. Serious dancers can participate in the Rock Academics program which provides academic flexibility while students prepare for a future career in the arts.
5. Living Arts Dance Studio- Northern Liberties
An affordable, professional performing arts studio for all, Living Arts Dance Studio offers dance programs for everyone ages 2.5 to adult. With many options from which to select, Living Arts Dance Studio offers morning , afternoon, and weekend classes to fit into any family's busy schedule. Camp opportunities and traveling classes are also available.
6. Dancexpress- Narberth
With a yearly program that runs from September thru May, Dancexpress offers Baby Dance, Creative Movement, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern, and Pointe. Classes are available for students ages 2 thru adult from levels beginner to advanced/pre-professional. Yoga, Pilates, and special workshops are also offered throughout the year. Camps run over the summer.
7. First Position Dance Arts- Ardmore
With the tagline, "Where classical meets cutting edge," First Person Dance is not your traditional dance studio. Yes, there's ballet, but there's also modern, jazz, tap, urban choreo, hip hop, breakin', and creative dance classes. Perhaps what's most exciting is the dance teams which start with elementary-aged kids and continue through high school. If you have every seen a dance performance at the Mann, 76ers Halftime show, Hersheypark, or the Philadelphia Zoo, you may have seen dancers trained at this studio.
8. Movements in Motion- Havertown
Boasting 4,500 square feet of space in two studios, Movements in Motion offers many introductory classes that focus on having fun while learning basic dance skills. Children ages 2-7 enjoy learning by combining dance traditions in early classes while children around age 7 can choose to focus on one area as they develop their skills. Movements in Motion also hosts birthday parties and holds summer camps. There are four different competition teams as well.
9. Napoli School of Music & Dance- Ardmore and Springfield
Napoli has been teaching students on the Main Line since 1988. They offer a comprehensive dance program for all levels with one of the best studio spaces around. As a bonus, Napoli also offers music lessons including piano, guitar, drum, and voice as well as karate classes. According to its website, Napoli was voted Best Studio on the Main Line.
10. Ballet 180- Wayne
Formly Studio 180, Ballet 180 has a commitment to community and personal well-being. Its goal is to uplift the mind, body, and soul. It seeks to enrich students' lives through high-quality artistry and service to society. This studio offers a full schedule of classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, and lyrical contemporary. Those who take ballet can expect teachers to follow the ABT® National Training Curriculum. This program was created by world class dance artists in conjunction with sports medicine, nutrition, physical therapy, and orthopedics advisorts. As a result, classes concentrate on strong kinetics and coordination as well as proper body alignment.
11.Wissahickon Dance Academy- Philadelphia
Over 25 years ago, this dance academy was established Nancy Malmed, a professionally training dancer from Temple University. Today, audiences find WDA dancers in professional dance companies, prestigious summer programs, and universities on dance scholarships. Pre-ballet starts at age 3 and goes through adult. Hip hop, tap, jazz, modern, and yoga are also offered. For more advanced students, study abroad opportunities to Cuba and the Ukraine are available.
12. Top Hat Dance Studio- Philadelphia
This dance studio features youth programs that include mommy & me, pre-ballet, ballet, ballroom dancing, and tap but also offer special hip hop classes for boys. Latin Pulse Youth Ballroom classes are offered and birthday parties with either a princess or ballerina theme can be arranged. Unique to this studio, Top Hat Dance hosts an annual Special Needs Prom in May.
13. Motion N' Dance- Philadelphia
Little ones ages 3-5 can participate in the Little Star Program. During this program, children learn ballet, jazz, and tap. Kids 4-5 can participate in Hip Hoppers which is a popular selection for the boys. Another option is Musical Divas. These sessions incorporate acting and singing into the dance. Older students can sign up for regular classes featuring ballet, hip hop, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, musical theater, and modern. Dancers who have reached their highest level can take part in a master program which is an accelerated level with intense training in a specific style of dance.
14. L.A. Dance Galaxy- West Norristown
Close by King of Prussia, Skippack, Plymouth, Collegeville, and Royersford, this dance studio offers plenty of opportunities for children 3 and up. Dancers can expect classes such as jazz, ballet, hip hop, and Pointe as well as musical theater, lyrical/liturgical praise, and dance dynamo combo. L.A. Dance Galaxy also has competition teams. An additional program that this studio offers is called Soaring High, an adaptive dance class for students that have particular needs. This allows participants of all abilites the opportunity to experience both the physical and mental benefits of dance.
15. Philadelphia Studio Ballet- Haverford
This Main Line studio encourages dancers to have fun while learning ballet dance technique in a stress-free environment. Early Division include Mommy & Me sessions beginning at 18 months and preschool ballet opportunities. Primary Division is for students in grades 1-3 and Pre Professional Ballet is for students with 3-4 years of classical ballet training. To compliment the traditional ballet classes, students can take ballet with the Cecchetti method, named after the famous dancer, Cav. Enrico Cecchetti.
Image courtesy of Lori Foxworth via The Philadelphia Dance Academy.