Whether you move like Elaine from that episode of Seinfeld or can dance the Nutcracker ballet in your sleep, dancing is an important part of everyone’s life. While some take a more homespun approach to dance, others seek out professional training to hone their movements and develop their dancing skills. In the latter case, you’ll be looking for a dance studio.
The city of London has many studios offering dance training in a variety of styles for children as young as age two and up through adulthood. Whether it’s a lifelong passion for the child or something to burn off some excess energy, it’s important to find a good studio that will offer more than just training, but also support and positivity.
When done right, dance encourages physical and mental health, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle as well as allowing children to come into their own and discover themselves through expressive movement.
The dance studios on this list are the best of the best. They offer incredible training from experienced and qualified instructors, creating a fantastic supportive community for all of their dancers.
Neighbourhood: Old South
2 Langarth Rd. W (map)
Dance London is a non-competitive dance studio based in the south side of London. With 18 teachers on staff, each highly trained and passionate, they are ready to get your child moving, jumping, and dancing!
Dance London offers a variety of styles for all ages, offering classes for children as young as 2 years, and as old as 17. Ballet and pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, musical theatre, and so many more. Classes are divided by age and skill level, making sure that everyone in a class is on the same page – no one will struggle to keep up and no one will be bored by the simplicity of the training in any given class.
Parents don’t have to feel left out though; Dance London also offers classes for adults! Later in the evenings, there are adult classes in the styles of ballet and hip hop. They also offer classes focused on stretching and conditioning. There is absolutely no previous dance experience required, just sign up, toss on some dancing shoes and you’re off to the races!
There are also classes for mom and baby, offering moms an awesome way to connect with other moms as well as get some exercise without having to find a sitter!
Their belief is that dance is an art before it is a sport, and no one should be forced to compete or be put through physically and mentally stressful exams. Dance London’s philosophy is to focus on technical training and the love of dance, as opposed to striving for prizes, or medals. This promotes a more supportive environment for all, rather than a competitive one.
Despite having over 400 dance students, no one will get lost in the crowd. Class sizes are capped, so that each student will receive the one-on-one attention that they need from the instructors in order to excel and succeed.
Dance London offers a wonderful, supportive environment for children and adults to learn and grow their passion for dance in any style.
Check out our Business of the Week feature we did with Dance London for more information!
North London Dance Centre
Neighbourhood: Hyde Park
1055 Sarnia Rd. (map)
North London Dance Centre can be found, unsurprisingly, in the north of London on the west side in the Hyde Park neighbourhood. Between their two studio rooms, there are over 85 classes each week in many different styles, ranging from fitness & flexibility to classical ballet to acro-dance.
The philosophy of North London Dance Centre is all about balance. There should be a balance between fun and hard work in order to maintain motivation and progression of ability to reach one’s individual potential. It should be fun and exciting to attend classes, but it still requires confidence, poise, and discipline.
North London Dance Centre operates under the standards of the Royal Academy of Dance for ballet, and the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association for tap and jazz. These high standards ensure that classes are structured and progressing at a proper pace without over-pressuring your child. There are two RAD-certified instructors and three full teaching members at the CDTA.
Classes at North London Dance Centre have a maximum of twelve dancers, meaning each will get plenty of personal attention from the instructor. This one-on-one instruction can mean all the difference when it comes to progressing as a dancer.
Dancers perform twice per year at professional venues, once in the winter, called Winterlude, and a recital at the end of the session in June. Recitals provide a goal for students to strive for, as well as given them the experience of performing for an audience, a skill that will come in handy both in and out of the dance world.
North London Dance Centre offers the opportunity for kids to find themselves through dance, developing self-confidence, discipline, and coordination as well as the ability to move gracefully.
Neighbourhood: White Oaks
820 Wharncliffe Rd. S (map)
Dance Essence offers exciting, energetic, and fun dance classes in a variety of styles in the south end of London. Their fifth season has begun this fall, and it promises to be their best yet!
No matter if your child is interested in classical ballet, modern dance, musical theatre, or hip hop and breakdance, Dance Essence has a class for them. Determining the class you want is based on your child’s age and the dance style (or styles) they want to pursue.
The size of classes are kept small, allowing for a more personalized touch for each student. Instructors can spend more time with each young dancer, helping them with their struggles in a constructive manner. This means more dancing and less waiting, and therefore faster learning.
Instructors at Dance Essence have been trained and recognized by the Royal Academy of Dance, the largest governing body of dance in the world, and Acrobatic Arts, a certification program to ensure safe and effective progression in the art of dance. The team of instructors are experienced, qualified, and invested in the education of your children, propelling them towards dancing success!
Exams are not mandatory at Dance Essence. The instructors will determine whether an examination is beneficial to the student, based on age, natural ability, and mastery of the level being studied.
Dance Essence has created a wonderful community in their five years of operation as a performance company. Their supportive staff promote positivity and safety alongside a top tier education that should not be missed!
Victoria Carter London Dance Centre
Neighbourhood: Old North
160 Sydenham St. (map)
Victoria Carter London Dance Centre has a long and storied history that has brought them to be on this list today.
Victoria Carter is the artistic director of the school and a local dance legend. She has devoted her life to the dancers of London, having shaped an entire generation from the studio on 160 Sydenham Street for many decades.
The school was started by her mother, Dorothy, in 1956, and has been in that Old North location since 1960. Victoria joined Dorothy in 1970 after graduating from the National Ballet School. In the following years, dozens of successful dancers and performers began their career dancing with Victoria, and she keeps that same passion going to this very day.
The slogan for Victoria Carter LDC is “the school where the amateur is as important as the professional.” Their philosophy being that as long as you’re passionate, you’re welcome at the school. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first dance class or you’ve been dancing for years – as long as you love dance, you’ll be treated the same.
The Victoria Carter LDC offers many styles of dance, including jazz, tap, and modern. They teach ballet in the Vaganova Russian method, the method currently used by a number of the world’s top ballet schools to teach their professional students. Classes are available for students as young as 3 years, either in ballet or tap. There are also adult classes, teaching you basic ballet techniques and dance appreciation.
The school feels that performance is a key aspect to dance, both a joy and a responsibility. As such, the whole school participates in a yearly recital to expose students, both amateur and professional, to the demands and rewards of striving for a polished production.
There is a reason that the Victoria Carter London Dance Centre has been running for so long: care and joy are infused into every class, even after over 60 years.
Belle Pointe Dance & Movement Company
Neighbourhood: White Oaks
4056 Meadowbrook Dr. (map)
The winner of the 2018 London Free Press award for Best Dance Studio in London, Belle Pointe Dance & Movement Company is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the Forest City dancing community.
The mission statement of Belle Pointe is to encourage children through performing arts to gain confidence and become empowered as they grow. The training they provide builds up their students to reach their full potential as dancers, performers, and as well-rounded people.
The classes offered at Belle Point are split into a variety of levels and genres. Programs for children as young as three years of age include ballet, tap, and creative movement. As the age increases, more options become available, including jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, and even Irish dance. For adults there are ballet, tap, and jazz classes at both a beginner and an intermediate level, as well as yoga classes.
Belle Pointe also offers the Little Theatre Company, a one-of-a-kind program integrating dance, drama, and music for children. Offered to children ten and up, the program includes at least two weekly dance classes, a group vocal lesson, and weekly rehearsals for their production performances. Previous productions have included Shrek The Musical Jr., Annie, and Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. The Little Theatre Company offers children the ability to explore performance in a variety of ways, allowing them to discover their passions earlier than most!
Belle Pointe’s full season is 35 weeks of dance classes beginning and September and capped off by an end-of-season recital in June. They are always accepting new applications, however, so inquire about class availability at any point! When registering for multiple classes, there’s even a 50% discount! For some classes, including Irish Dance and adult programs, the sessions are ten weeks long with specific start dates, so find the next upcoming one on their website if you’re interested in signing up!
The Dance Alliance
Neighbourhood: Fanshawe Ridge
1570 Highbury Ave. N (map)
The Dance Alliance is a newer face in the London dance scene, opening their north-east London location just three years ago. The company may not have a long history, but the staff all have many years of dancing and instructing experience and they’re excited to pass that knowledge on to your young ones.
There’s no limit to the styles of dance offered at the Dance Alliance. They have classes for everything from ballet to tap, modern to musical theatre, and even a style where you dance in heels.
Along with regular classes, The Dance Alliance also offers summer camps and PA Day Camps for working parents that cannot take random Fridays off of work when schools are not in session. The PA Day Camps are only $45 (or $50 if you aren’t already a member at the Dance Alliance) and your child will get a full day of dance! Drop them off between 8:45 and 9:00AM, and then you can head to work safe in the knowledge that your child will be happy and active through the day.
The Dance Alliance offers drop-in classes for adults. Since they know schedules can get hectic, they don’t keep you to a tight schedule – you come when you can and pay for what you attend. Classes are 75 minutes and $10 each (or purchase a card offering 8 classes for $60). They offer hip hop classes in two difficulties – beginner and intermediate – as well as body conditioning classes. These classes get you moving and grooving without worrying about looking silly!