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Top Dance Classes for Kids in San Francisco

Published Jul 10, 2019 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

So many dance lessons are available in the area, but which one should you choose? Here is a bit of our own research to help choose the right class for your young dancer.

Do you have a youngster who just LOVES to move?

One of my favorite stories I've maybe ever heard is one of Gillian Lynne. I first heard the story in a Ted Talk from Ken Robinson (a great listen for any of you interested). When she was young, her school teachers thought that she had a learning disorder as she lacked attention span and could never stop moving. In today's age, Gillian would likely have been diagnosed with ADHD but this was the 1930s and that wasn't even a possible diagnosis at that point, it wasn't invented yet. Her parents took her to a specialist as they were at their wits end, and the doctor left her alone in the room with the radio on. They watcher her from outside as she danced all around the room, and the doctor turned to her mother and said, "there is nothing wrong with your child. She's a born dancer".

For those of you who don't know the end of this story, Gillian Lynne's parents embraced her ability to move and put her into dance, and she went on to be one of the world's most renowned dancers, and has been responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions of all time.

So again, do you have a child who LOVES to move? We encourage you to embrace their natural talents or their passions!

Here's our list of amazing dance studios in the San Francisco area.

ODC Dance Commons

ODC's Youth & Teen Program provides students the opportunity to experience dance in a context that values the individual and the creative process. The program is dedicated to high quality technical training within a non-competitive environment and offers access to many forms of dance. The curriculum caters to each student’s strengths and is designed to encourage creative expression and a positive body image.

351 Shotwell Street & 3153 17th Street - Visit Website

MoBu Dance Studio

Mobu's fundamental goal is to research dance through one's self and lifetime experience of movement. Mobu's character means "true dance" in Japanese and the studio is loved by all young dancers who attend, finding it refreshingly different from other programs. Located in the Noe Valley district, you'll find a variety of dance classes offered for children and teens in ballet, hip hop, and modern.

1605 Church Street - Visit Website

Calliope Dance Studio

With small classes (not more than 6 children) that are grouped by age, this is the perfect place for your little dancer to get individual attention. Calliope Dance Studio focuses on children aged 3-12 and their classes teach kids to enjoy their bodies through the art of dancing while addressing specific developmental stages. Your child will learn different styles of dance as well as exploring their imaginative bodies through creative movement.

1414 Castro Street - Visit Website

The Dance Brigade’s Dance Mission Theater

Youth programs are offered for children from 3 to 18. Classes are available in hip hop, modern, Taiko drumming, belly dance, modern jazz, ballet, creative movement, and modern ballet (now that's a mouthful)! One special program that makes us love them even more is Grrrl Brigade--their girl empowerment youth dance company for young ladies aged 9-18.

3316 24th Street - Visit Website

Ms. Marian's Dance Garden

Young dancers see growth in self-esteem, confidence in body and mind, and an understanding of how the body moves. Classes are offered in classical ballet, contemporary, creative movement, jazz, hip hop, tap, Broadway, acrobatics/tumbling, and sports conditioning for boys. With the emphasis on performance, students learn about non-verbal expression, clarity of execution and ultimately, an appreciation of dance as an amazing art form.

5841 Geary Blvd - Visit Website

Presidio Dance Theatre

This award winning studio is known for its exemplary arts education programs. Youth programs begin as early as 2.5 years, and while they are most known for their curriculum in ballet, they also offer classes in tap, hip hop, and musical theatre. Your kids will have the opportunity to dance in their productions on leading SF stages, an exciting opportunity for an aspiring dancer.

386 Moraga Avenue - Visit Website

Ming Hai Wu School of Ballet

Properly taught, ballet instruction opens a world of beauty and self-expression. It promotes physical coordination and enhances a child’s sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

For the last 16 years Ming-Hai Wu has shared this world with the children of San Francisco. His patient instruction has helped develop an appreciation for the magnificent art form to which he has dedicated his entire career.

4504 Irving Street - Visit Website

Hamster Dance Academy

Founded by Mary Carbonara and focused on the creative, cognitive and physical development of each child, Hamster Dance Academy offers dance and creative movement instruction for children age 4 through 12. Students explore all aspects of movement and movement creation while learning healthy and efficient dance technique derived from ballet, modern and jazz, while also making connections to their age/­level of academic learning.

301 8th Street - Visit Website

Zaccho Studio's Center for Dance and Aerial Arts

Zaccho’s specializes in technical training, composition, improvisation and performance, while teaming up with the local dance and aerial communities to explore personal and collaborative art making. Zaccho’s classes reflect their philosophy of building a strong skill set infused with personal creativity, team support and a lot of fun!

1777 Yosemite Avenue - Visit Website

Genesis DanceSport Studio

Genesis provides a forum for students of all ages to express themselves artistically though music and dance in a relaxed and professional atmosphere.

Classes are fun and upbeat, geared to entertain every ballroom dance enthusiast.

404 Clement Street - Visit Website

Find a complete list of 50+ dance studios in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

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