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Dance classes for my fancy dancers?

Twirling_dancer Everett and Truman love to dance, and although Truman's definitely on the wobbly side still, I think Everett has some talent. What's more, he's a big fan of Angelina Ballerina and any Disney movie featuring dancing. He'll get up and show me the way you're "supposed" to dance for a given song, and often? He's pretty much right.

It occurred to me tonight that now is the time. If my little guy is going to ever dance off-off-off-Broadway, well, it's time to get practicing. But I have no idea where to start. I mean, he's a boy. Most boys (let's be honest) don't take ballet.

Can anyone recommend good dance classes (in the southeast would be nice, but downtown or close-in NE would work, too)? And, most importantly, any that have boys in them? Everett's four-and-a-half, and if it was a dance/drama combo program, so much the better.


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My son Aidan took tap class at around 4.5 or 5 years at Penninsula Park Community Center. There was one other boy in the class. They have shoes there for them to borrow, so you don't have to invest in a pair if you don't know if he'll stick with it. After the session was over, Aidan was not interested in continuing, but he did enjoy trying it out.

Mila is currently taking the tiny tappers class and was just in the pre-ballet class at Laurelhurst Studio. Both are open to boys and girls and are taught by "Ms. Erika".

We put some info on our experience on our website:


Kate (3.5) is taking a ballet class at 10:45 at Sellwood Comm Ctr on Tues and it's going well. There are 5 girls about the same age. It's a 45 min class, which is a little long for this age especially since it's a class, not a free for all like messy art or soccer or something. They learn ballet positions and movements, and they just "dance" too, so it's not high pressure but they are learning ballet too.

Laurelhurst Comm Ctr just opened ballet classes for 3 y.o. that I'll probably sign Kate up for too (I'm not pushing anything, but she's really into it right now). I think the class is on Thurs at 2:30. We've taken several classes (not ballet) with Erika when Kate was younger and I like her a lot.

My 4 year old is also taking a pre-ballet class at Laurelhust studio. It is an all girl class right now, but is open to boys as well.

My neighbor raves about "Do Jump" in Hawthorne. There were several boys in her daughter's class and is also fairly acrobatic too...good for boys! We have not done it yet since it is pretty spendy (about $10 per class) but I'd like to try it in the future.

thanks for all your comments, I *have* already checked out DoJump and was initially turned off by the high prices -- it's $120 for a 12-week class. However, I think I'm going to work to get Everett into the spring session -- in case anyone else is trying, they fill up *really* fast, so call to get on their list. It's www.dojump.org.

I've also signed him up for a ballet class at Laurelhurst Studio -- I guess I'll just accept that he'll be the only boy there. Ahh well. When he tries out for the Portland Ballet in high school he'll be a shoein. Or... whatever he wants, of course! Hehe.

if you're really serious about this, i would go to the source and talk to the folks at obt (oregon ballet theater: http://www.obt.org/home.htm ). their recent production of the nutcracker was a mostly child cast, and clearly there are lots of boys enrolled there and support for your son i would personally find really important. even if he is not ready for them--i know they take kids at four, and i wouldn't expect there to be too much prior knowledge necessary--they can give you the best rec on where to head to find the right atmosphere for your son!

addtionally, the two children's theater groups in town may be other outlets for the same passion:

oregon children's theater http://www.octc.org/

and northwest children's theater http://www.nwcts.org/html/about.html

so I did call the Oregon Ballet Theatre, and the woman there told me there was a possibility that another class might open up in the preballet (ages 4 to 6) session -- it's on a school year calendar but (good thing) there are seven boys in the program. if we don't make it for this year, there's a summer program that's only $105 (for five weeks). i called my husband to tell him what i found out? and he said HE had taken a ballet class at OBT when he was little.

the annual class is very spendy (it would be $400 for the rest of the term), so we'll see what happens -- if I get in I'll have to do a dancing boys fundraiser or something!

My daughter takes classes at OBT. I thought that I remembered them having scholarships for male dancers at the beginning of the session is September. I would suppose that this would be due to the dearth of boys in the program. I don’t know if they mentioned this to you when you called, but I thought I would let you know since the program isn’t cheap.

very cool news. the gender thing probably won't make a huge difference now, but it will mean a lot later to be taking classes at the very best place in town--and have other male friends doing the same thing as he is! i mean, i know how at 25 i was desperate to find other likeminded mommies . . . nothing changes!

so, final report: it must have been meant to be! OBT called yesterday and said they had a spot for Everett. they usually don't take children at any other time than the beginning of the school year, so I figured it was a voice from on high telling me "Everett needs OBT classes!" He'll be starting this very saturday.

eek! my husband, mr. army man, is even all for it despite the cost. wish my budget luck!

oh, and for others who are interested, the summer class opens up in march sometime -- it's five weeks in July (maybe one date in august) and only $105 so get on the list now if you're interested.

I am looking for a dance class that I can take with Olivia, who is 9 and maybe even Gustavo is 11. Obviously not with ambitions to perform or pretensions that it will benefit anyones resume. When I was Olivia's age my uncle taught me how to polka and other hilarious and thrilling folk dances and I want to share that with my son and daughter. Something like the tango may make Gustavo squirm.

At the Peninsula Community Center, they do Belly Dancing for us Two: http://www.portlandparks.org/register/Activities/ActivitiesCourseDetails.asp?aid=3917&cid=232483

It seems to be tailored for younger children and their parent/special adult, but looks to me that it could also be fun for older kids?

Anyone know of a good dance class for 3 year olds that has classed on Saturday? Ballet or just rhythm and movement would be great. I live in NE Portland.

Polaris Dance Theatre (non-profit) is starting a Little Dancer Program on September 14th- $8 a class! The parent can also simultaneously take a body conditioning class while their little one is taking their class! They also have so many other classes too- all ages/all abilities! www.polarisdance.org
Little dancers is run by a great teacher called Iris Nason, who you might have heard of around town as she has taught wonderfully at many different schools. She actually teaches the 3-5 yr old class (3-3.45pm) and 5-7(4-5pm) on a Friday, and there are other classes being taught with her creative movement method on other days. My daughter (4.5) loved her classes at an other venue and I'm signing her up for this one too as it's way closer to my house as it is located at SW 15th and Taylor (close to PGE park and Max-line)!

Does anyone have any sources on mother-daughter classes? I thought I saw a belly-dance class offered someplace but cant find it.

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