Beginning Ballet class for 10 year old?

My daughter has a very strong interest in taking ballet classes, having never taken them before.  She is almost 10 (4th grade) and I'm having difficulty finding a ballet school that has introductory ballet classes for "older" kids.  In many schools, this age is already considered pre-professional.  We live in Berkeley - does anyone have a suggestion of a local school (within 10 miles) that may be a good fit for my well-behaved, motivated daughter?  Thank you!

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Hi- check with Shawl Anderson. It’s a very friendly studio with a robust program for kids ages 3 through teen. They offer good ballet instruction in a warm manner. 

I think our dance studio would be out of your 10 miles radius (Walnut Creek) but they offer private lessons and I'm sure other studios do too. It might be better for her to do private lessons to start while she learns some of the fundamentals and then she can transition to a class that is age-appropriate. Plus, she will likely learn a lot quicker in a private class environment.

Additionally, our studio offers a free teen/adult intro to ballet drop in class. Not sure your daughter would be considered "teen", but might be worth a phone call.

The Ballet School - 925-934-2133


I highly recommend Fusion Dance Project in Hayward. Its worth the drive. Their introductory classes are open to a broad range of kids and your daughter would certainly not be the oldest. The instructors are welcoming and do an amazing job with the kids. The place really has a friendly and positive vibe. They have an annual recital in June each year, which you might want to attend with your daughter. I went to it last year while trying to make up my mind about where to send my daughter for dance and was blown away with the performance. My daughter is happily enrolled this year.

My daughter started taking ballet at 10 or 11 at Van der Zwaan Dance Studio in north Berkeley (Shattuck and Cedar).  The classes indicate the age range, and although she's usually been among the oldest in her classes, there's always been at least one or two students her age.  She's made steady progress, and she's still taking classes there as a 14-year-old.

Shawl Anderson on Alcatraz Ave x College Ave in Berkeley (on border of Oakland) My 10 year old daughter is taking ballet for the first time and loves it. 

My daughter's ballet studio offers classes for beginning students of all ages and I'm sure your daughter would find it a welcoming environment. The Conservatory of Classical Ballet is in San Leandro, so not exactly local to you, but not too far either! They offer evening and weekend classes too.

Van der zwann dance on Shattuck. We have a good friend who is taking beginning ballet at age 11 there and is very happy. I took my first ballet class around the same age and loved it. Good luck! 

Have you contacted Berkeley Ballet Theater ( ? They don't have an introductory class specifically for older kids, but they will place your daughter in a suitable class. If she's interested and motivated she will eventually be able to catch up with her age peers.