Because there’s not a whole lot that’s cuter than a tiny hip-hop dancer (or ballerina, or breakdancer …): Here’s a round-up of great places to look for your next dance class. Bonus: Many of these classes offer drop-in options!
The Spot: The Rock School, 11th and Broad
The Dancing: You have some choices here. This acclaimed 50-year-old dance school is known for its serious dance training (they’ve developed dancers who have ended up in some of the world’s most famous dance companies) — but they also offer a series classes designed just for littles who’ve never danced before. There’s a new preschool dance class for kids aged two-and-a-half to five, starting early next month — and that’s offered in both 8-week sessions and as a drop-in. There’s also pre-ballet for four- and five-year-olds, creative movement for three-year-olds, pre-gymnastics for four-year-olds and pre-hip-hop for five-year-olds. Sounds fun, no!?
The Spot: Zoomdance, which is offered in multiple locations around the city (Francisville, Fishtown, South Philly)
The Dancing: Zoomdance offers classes for kids from one-and-a-half to eight years old, in sessions that vary from ZoomDance for littles and their parents (a class of dance, music, storytelling, and more) to drop-off ZoomDance for slightly older ones to beginner ballet for littles and bigger kids. The sessions, which just started on September 21, last 9 weeks, but they prorate the rest of the session if you still want an in. (There is also a drop-in option!) And new classes pop up around town and in schools and afterschool programs all the time, so this is a great site to check up on every few weeks. (FYI: The ZoomDance folks are also open to on-demand classes in neighborhoods, should there be enough interest!)
The Spot: Nest, Gayborhood
The Dancing: The next session of classes at this mecca of kids’ classes starts in late October, and will offer both beginning and junior dance classes (focusing on flexibility, coordination and strength, specific techniques for ballet, improved balance, posture and grace, development of rhythm and creative movement), a Jamboree (a class with movement and music, designed to explore tempo and rhythm) for littles 18 months to three years old, as well as a drop-off session called “Dancers with Musicians” for kids three-and-a-half to six, combining the fundamentals of hip-hop, ballet and modern dance.
The Spot: Lume Creative Learning Studios, East Passyunk
The Dancing: At this newish spot for kids’ (and adult!) classes, the roster of dance options right now includes and art-and-dance hybrid class for ]/”
(potty-trained) three- to five-year-olds, wherein the kids learn about rhythm, music and yoga while singing along with live guitar music. Each class is themed, so they dance to a theme and then create art around said theme, as well. (Awesome!) The session started a couple weeks ago, but you can still register a la carte (just do it a couple days in advance). Lume is also offering an adorable-sounding Itty Bitty Breakdance course for three- to five-year-olds, starting September 30 through November 4. Best sign up quick — this just feels like one that will fill up quick, no?
The Spot: PlayArts, Fishtown
The Dancing: This Fishtown fave always has a cool line-up of classes: Its current (and we can only assume, future) roster of dance options is no exception. There’s Mini Move and Groove, a class for toddlers 18 months through three years (and their caregivers) wherein everyone explores basic dance concepts through songs, rhymes, stories and games. (The first session for fall already started, but you can do drop-in, and there’s also a second session beginning on October 9.) There’s also Hip-Hop Happy for kids four through eight years (session enrollment only, with the next session starting on October 9), where kids learn the basics behind poses, gestures and floor work. And there’s Capoeira for kids 5 through 8, focusing on the energetic Brazilian martial art that’s “part dance, part music and part acrobatics.” Again, it’s a series enrollment with this one, and the next series begins October 12 with a registration deadline of October 6.