Shawl-Anderson Dance Studio

Berkeley, CA
School-Aged, Preteens, Teens

Parent Reviews

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Archived Reviews: 

Feb 2014

RE: Ballet for 4 year old twins

We tried out various dance studios in the Berkeley area for my 2 daughters. We did not try Berkeley City Ballet, but my favorite , in order from most favorite to least, was Shawl Anderson, Danspace, Berkeley Ballet Theater, and last would be Kathryn Roszack. At Shawl Anderson, they teach a love of movement for little ones. A plus is that for your son, there is a class just for boys taught by a really great teacher as he gets older. I recommend a dance class that is not too rigid for little ones. They can seek out the more rigid aspects of ballet as they get older.

    Oct 2011

    Re: Dance for 3-year-old boy
    my son loved dance classes at shawl-anderson, on alcatraz near college avenue. he especially loved a modern dance class with maurice charriere, who still teaches there. the website is Lucy

    Sept 2010

    Re: Ballet classes for adults?

    Shawl Anderson in Rockridge. They are on Alcatraz, just a few doors east of College Ave. A word of caution: This is a serious dance school (professional dancers take classes there), so the class levels are 'real'. I am in the same boat as you; did ballet for years growing up, and am still in relatively decent shape... or so I thought. The Intermediate class absolutely kicked my butt! maia

    Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, 2704 Alcatraz @ College in Oakland ( is a wonderful place for ballet and other types of dance for all ages. In my late thirties, I took ballet at a school at Church/Market in SF where the instructors wanted to work with the ballet *body-type.* It was very discouraging, so I signed up with Shawl-Anderson and never felt out of place as an older student with a non-stereotypical ballerina body. Nice dance studio, school and folks. Marie

    Oct 2006

    Would like to hear about any recent experiences with the Shawl- Anderson Dance Center, especially with their children's dance classes. I am looking for a new ballet class (and possibly modern dance class) for my 8 year old daughter; she has been taking and loving dance class since she was 3; we would like to get away from the yearly Nutcracker selection process. Shawl- Anderson looks like a good fit, but we do not know anyone who attends class there. Thanks in advance Susan

    My 10-year-old daughter has taken ballet from Reenie at Shawl-Anderson for almost a year. She really enjoys it and is progressing quickly. She also takes the jazz class with Shauna twice a week, which she loves. The classes are serious, but without lots of frills or strict dress codes. If you are trying to avoid the pressure of Nutcracker schedules and casting, Shawl-Anderson might be a good fit. Another positive is that the classes tend to be smaller than those at some of the other Berkeley schools. Feel free to contact me if you have questions Elisa

    Re: Dance classes for 7-year-old BOY (Feb 2005)
    My daughter takes dance at Shawl Anderson (corner of College and Alcatraz), and there is a boy in the modern class, which is 4:45-5:30 on Tuesdays, and another boy in ballet, which is from 3:30-4:30 on Thursdays. My son (almost 4) takes modern class there too.

    Re: Ballet lessons for 5-year-old (Feb. 2004)
    First, let me start be saying that I am a former professional balley dancer, who got wildly varying levels of training as a beginner. Parents come to me all the time for advice, and are not always happy with what I tell them. First thing before that is that the program I would most recommend is at Shawl-Anderson, on Alcatraz at College Ave, with Reeny (sp?) It is the right balance between too serious and not serious enough. Reeny is terrific with the kids. They do little shows every once in a while, but they're very low key, and not the only focus at class.

    Re: Dance class for 16-year-old novice (Aug 2002)
    Dance for 16 yr old. -- My daughter is 15 and took lessons this summer at Shawl-Anderson (Alcatraz at College). She took ballet for the first time and modern dance (after one year of dance at Berkeley High). She loved it. They are beginning classes in jazz, ballet, and modern, which are grouped by age, so the older teens are in classes of other older teens learning dance at their level. We were quite impressed with the program and hope to continue. Debra