Looking to get your little one into dance? Not only does it help with balance, coordination and rhythm, dance gives a positive outlet to express emotion and foster confidence. The Bay Area is plentiful when it comes to different styles and studios to give your little one a fun way to release all that energy. From hip hop to ballet to break dancing, check out our top picks on where to sign up your tiny dancer!

photo: ODC Dance Studio

San Francisco

ODC Dance Commons
Starting as young as two years old, ODC is all about encouraging creative expression through dance in a non-competitive, positive way. Located in the Mission District, this dance studio offers classes in hip hop, ballet, contemporary and tap for girls and boys. The studio also connects students to ODC/Dance, a world-class modern dance company, ODC Theatre and the Rhythm and Motion Dance Program for multi-cultural and performance opportunities.

351 Shotwell St.
San Francisco, CA

Dance Mission Theater
Located in the heart of the Mission District and across the street from BART, Dance Mission is one studio that takes dance to new levels. Classes and camps are for ages 3-18 in a variety of styles like ballet, hip hop and jazz as well as belly dancing and Taiko drumming. For girls wanting to be a part of something special, their Grrrl Brigade is a girl empowerment youth dance company for girls ages 9-18 and performs around the Bay Area.

3316 24th St.
San Francisco, CA

Calliope Dance Studio
Nestled in Noe Valley, Calliope is a blended dance studio focused on the individual child. With a class size of no more than six dancers, kids are encouraged to find their creativity and really grow their dance skills in a comfortable environment. The class combines ballet, tap and tumbling as their signature style, but also offers flamenco, world dance and even class taught entirely in Spanish! Although parents are not allowed in the classroom, there is a fun Flamenco class tailored just for parents and their children.

1414 Castro St.
San Francisco, CA

Lynn Douthit School of Dance
Celebrating 40 years of dancing, the Lynn Douthit School has gotten all sorts of nods for teaching the little dancers from preschool age all the way up to teens and young adults. Classes are a combination of tap, tumbling and jazz with a recital at the end of the year. Note that there are no weekend classes held here, classes are taught Tues.-Thurs. only.

399 San Fernando Way
San Francisco, CA

JCCSF Dance School
If convenience and flexibility are what you’re looking for when enrolling your little one in dance class, the JCCSF Dance School might be the right fit. With over 30 classes a week and a variety of class times, boys and girls will be introduced to the love of dancing in a space that focuses on the total development of the child—mentally, physically and socially. Classes start at 2.5 years old and include ballet, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical and Broadway.

3200 California St.
San Francisco, CA

photo: Berkeley Ballet Theater

East Bay

Berkley Ballet Theater
A non-profit organization providing professional level training to dancers regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic class, students of all ages can learn technique at this beautiful ballet studio. We Dance Together classes are for kids aged 2.5-4 with parent participation before moving up to Twinkle Toes and Pre-Ballet by age 7. Choose from a pre-ballet or youth division as well as summer camp to get your little ballet dancer started!

1370 10th St.
Berkeley, CA

Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center
Introduce your little one to a more traditional dance style from Mexico at Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center. Kids seven and older can learn Zapateando, Jarocho or a combo of Cumbia and Merengue, while younger kids from age four and up can get a taste of the styles in the movement and music classes. Group size is small to focus on the individual.

13108 San Pablo Ave.
San Pablo, CA

Tiffany’s Dance Academy
With seven locations around the Bay Area including South Bay, Peninsula and East Bay, Tiffany’s Dance Academy teaches dancers from 18 months old the joy of dance. With styles like classic ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop, boys and girls can learn from experienced teachers. If performance is something your child would like, the Bay Area Dance Company is for kids aged 13-17.

37439 Fremont Blvd.
Fremont, CA

Kids ‘N Dance
A “performing arts center that grows with your child”, Kids ‘N Dance is a space with the goal of inspiring kids towards self-expression through dance, theater and circus arts. Classes start at 18 months in parent and me classes and go all the way up to 12 years old. With classes in ballet, tap, lyrical, hip-hop, musicals and even gymnastics, every child is given the opportunity to explore the world of dance.

3369 Mt. Diablo
Lafayette, CA

With focus on the individual child and their development, this Rockridge studio keeps the classes small and engaging for even the smallest dancers at three years old. The “Serendipity” classes are all about making creative movement fun with stories, games, props and music while teaching motor skills, coordination, flexibility and special awareness. Pointe, ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop are also offered.

473 Hudson St.
Oakland, CA

photo: Broadway Babies and Kids


Broadway Babies
For kids just starting to express themselves who want a place that’s fun, creative and free, check out Broadway Babies in San Carlos. With classes starting at less than a year old all the way up to 10, little ones can sing, dance and act in a Broadway class, or check out their other classes including hip hop, ballet, jazz, Polynesian, and voice. Enrollment options include drop-in, camp or membership.

1101 Laurel St.
San Carlos, CA

Small Fry
Founded by a husband and wife team offering on-site extra curriculum classes in preschools around the Bay Area, Small Fry has grown to become a Peninsula mom’s favorite. Classes start at just 18 months with Music and Movement to get walking toddlers used to moving to music. Dance and Performance classes take dancers through different genres of music like jazz, ballet, musical theater and hip hop in six month rotations and ends with an optional recital. If dancers want to try something different and so cool, Small Fry also offers Brazilian Song and Drum on Sunday mornings.

1528 S. El Camino Real Suite 208
San Mateo, CA

Principal Creative and Performing Arts
Owned by the same duo of Small Fry Dance Studio, PCPA takes dancers five and older up a level in their dance technique and performance. Dance formats like musical theater, ballet, hip-hop, lyrical and acro are taught by awesome instructors. With a focus on performance, recitals, teams and competitions are held year round around the Bay Area.

1528 S. El Camino Real Suite 208
San Mateo, CA

Kirkpatrick’s School of Dance
Since 1956, families have been sending their little ones to Kirkpatrick’s School of Dance. Pre Dance classes are offered to 4-6 years olds to get them used to dance and creative movement in a fun way, and older dancers can train in tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet and modern. Performances include fun productions like Sleeping Beauty, The Ugly Duckling and Ever After.

1701 Leslie St. # 100
San Mateo, CA

Dance Vita Ballroom
Get out the ballroom shoes, this San Mateo studio is serious about all dances in the ballroom world. From salsa to samba, quickstep and jive, kids can learn technique from world-renowned competitive dancers from around the world. Whether your dancer wants to compete or just have fun, the journey in ballroom dancing can definitely start here.

85 West 43rd. Ave.
San Mateo, CA

photo: Firebird Dance Studio

South Bay

Firebird Dance Studio
This award-winning dance school in Mountain View offers classes in world dance combined with contemporary, ballroom and Latin elements. Programs start with parent and me Tots and Polkadots as young as 18 months and move up to teens. Students can join their performance-based dance program by audition only for those really looking to focus on dance.

1411 W. El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA

West Valley Dance Company
West Valley Dance Company is a favorite for South Bay parents. With styles including hip hop, break dancing, tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, karate, musical theatre and acro/tumbling, your little one is sure to have a blast learning different dance styles. Classes start at 18 months to explore balance and coordination. Team and performance classes are also offered.

1226 S. Bascom Ave.
San Jose, CA

Indian-Fusion Dance Academy
Bollywood is an awesome high-energy dance style that beams with happiness. At Indian-Fusion Dance Academy in San Jose, kids need no experience but a desire to learn and have fun. Classes are customized depending on the students, with an interest to get to know the individual dancer as well in order to make dance an all around good time.

3872 Vista Point CT
San Jose CA

Dance Attack
Recognized as a “Best of the Best” for dance studios for years, Dance Attack offers a wide variety of formats including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and tumbling in Sunnyvale and Los Gatos. Their Tiny Tots program takes kids as young as 2.5 and introduces them to a variety of styles in their combo class. The studio also has performance opportunities including the Big Show, Ice Cream Concert and Performing Company.

120 Carroll St.
Sunnyvale, CA

Dance Academy USA
Named the largest dance studio in the state of California, Dance Academy is huge with seven rooms, 40 instructors and more than 200 classes a month to give students every opportunity to find a class and time that works for them. Classes are primarily for children in styles like contemporary, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, ballroom, musical theater and creative dance.

21269 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite 618
Cupertino, CA

Marin County

Tutu School
If you think there’s nothing cuter than girls in tutus and boys learning pirouettes, you have to check out Tutu School. Classes start as young as 18 months for tutu toddlers all the way up to age 8 where more disciplined ballet prep is explored. Tutus are not required, but at a school with tutu in its name, why not? Also check out their other locations in San Francisco, Redwood City, Burlingame and Walnut Creek.

2201 Larkspur Landing Circle
Larkspur, CA

RoCo Dance
With locations in Mill Valley and Fairfax, kids looking to show off their dance chops in a performance at the end of the season will love this East Bay studio. With classes beginning at three years old, little ones can dip their toes in Russian ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and even breaking. Those that want to join a dance crew can be a part of Kinetic Dance (hip hop) and Body Language (modern).

237 Shoreline Hwy.
Mill Valley, CA
Online: rocodance.com

Marin Ballet
For those serious about becoming competitive ballet dancers, Marin Ballet has been in the business for over 50 years. Starting at age three, tiny dancers will be introduced to classical ballet (Vaganova tradition) with creative movement and expression. As boys and girls move up levels, they can participate in full productions of the Nutcracker as well as spring recitals.

100 Elm St.
San Rafael, CA

Marin Dance Theater
MDT is all about training even the littlest dancers proper technique and discipline in the art of ballet. The instructors encourage a love of dance through cooperation, community and personal achievement. Classes start at 3 years old and move up from there. There is a strict dress and attendance policy, so be sure to read up on it before signing up your little one!

1 Saint Vincents Dr.
San Rafael, CA

—Sandra Lee, Ana Picazo, Kristen Philipkoski and Erin Feher

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