The Pretenders Studio is an after school, dance, enrichment program that specializes in dance training for local youth on the Westside of Los Angeles. We offer a wide variety of dance classes for kids and teens at all levels who are looking for solid training in a nurturing, supportive, inclusive and safe environment. We offer dance classes for children preschool age through high school and offer varying degrees of participation based on individual needs so you can curate a dance curriculum based on your goals and level.
Some of our students take 1 or 2 classes a week as a recreational, extra curricular activity while others attend 10-14 classes weekly taking on a more rigorous course load. We have something for everyone and the more you put in the more you get out! The most novice dancers are welcome to grow and learn here as are those with prior experience or simply a desire to find greater mastery in their art and wish to dive deep into the world of dance. We do not require formal testing for admission however, we do want to get to know you prior to your first day so we can help you select your ideal plan at Pretenders for individual success. Once a student a Pretenders we will work with you each semester to ensure you are always appropriately challenged and supported throughout your dance education with us. We offer each student strong technical training across a variety of disciplines and evaluate our students based on their individual growth and level.
We offer Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Yoga, Acro/Tumbling, Musical Theater and Acting at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. We celebrate progress over perfection and stive to be a place that fosters a sese of belonging and teamwork. In our experience, the more you participate in the program, the more growth you feel and the faster you progress. The more time you spend in our community the more connected you become to our dance family and our local community. We encourage our students to take a minimum of 2-3 classes per week to get the full benefit of our dance community.
We are committed to finding you your ideal schedule based on your individual needs, skill level and desired commitment level so please reach out and introduce yourself and let’s get started on your dance journey as a Pretender.
The Pretenders Studio brings to life the language of dance in a way that teaches our students about what it means to be:
- Technically proficient dancers in a variety of disciplines
- Physically healthy, strong athletes
- Effective communicators
- Reliable and dependable team players
- Confident and flexible individuals
- Open minded and creative artists
- Focused, critical thinkers
- Rhythmic and spatially aware movers
- Relf-reflective and respectful people
- Graceful and powerful members of our community who seek out ways of giving back
We teach our dancers to listen for the heartbeat of the music and connect it to their own. Musicality, movement, and technique are priorities for us and we commit to making sure each student has a foundational understanding of how these elements are connected. We encourage students to stretch outside of their comfort zones to find expressive quality of movement and to search within themselves to find the strength, power, confidence, and individuality to share with their classmates and ultimately, an audience and our community at large.
Our teaching staff is highly trained, has a deep background in teaching and performing and is committed to our studio values. Collectively we work to:
- Provide a safe space for dancers to experiment, imagine, work hard and grow
- Celebrate progress over perfection
- Foster a sense of belonging
- Support a non-competitive environment
- Encourage a healthy and positive body image
- Bring dance to the local community through service and philanthropy
Semester over semester we see both technical and interpersonal growth in our students. Each semester culminates in a performance that showcases the progress we have attained and the confidence that has grown.
We expect our students to approach their art with open heartedness, support, love and full commitment. We expect them to be honest and to have fun! We enforce the notion that dance is not about attaining perfection but rather about investing in the process and therefore, our measure of success is in witnessing how far we have come and how much progress we have made both individually and collectively. Holding dancers, teachers, and families of The Pretenders Studio accountable to these core values is what makes it possible for us to grow, improve, dance to our greatest potential, and “Dance For A Difference”.
Students are expected to attend classes with consistent attendance and to be on-time and ready for each class. With consistent hard work our dancers prepare two shows per year and showcase their work in entertaining and impressive original works produced by us at the conclusion of each semester!
Additionally, our Dance Company performs regularly throughout the year at a variety of dance and philanthropic events.
Please see Dress Code for more info on how to be prepared for success at The Pretenders Studio.
All classes on our academic year schedule are expected to perform in 2 shows annually—our Annual Dance For A Difference Benefit Holiday Show (in December) and our Spring Showcase (in June). Each class will perform a dance in each show. If a dancer is registered in one class parents can expect them to perform in that one piece while dancers who are enrolled in several classes will perform in several pieces. Please understand that stage time is divided evenly between classes and each class is given the opportunity to perform the choreography they have prepared. Our shows are meant to demonstrate in class work and progress so each group of dancers from each class performs the piece they have worked on in class.
All audience members are encouraged to support all our dancers and attend the entirety of each performance. Our show times are roughly an hour and a half in length.
Additional performances are announced annually and are intended primarily for our Company dancers. Please inquire about details.
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
The Pretenders Studio is a “home away from home” for our dancers. Making new friends, cultivating deep relationships with teammates and teachers and discovering how we as a dance community fit int our larger community is pivotal to our program. Our dancers are encouraged and coached to grow as individuals and as a group. Students are not in competition with each other rather, they celebrate each other’s successes and accomplishments and support each other’s challenges. They learn from watching each other and we give and receive constructive and supportive feedback. Our dancers understand that their friendships shine through in the performance and the more invested they are in each other the more they are able to connect on stage and off.
We love to watch the friendships grow along side the technical dance skill and we are proud to report that friendships that budded at Pretenders are alive and well in the world far past graduation. The bonds that our dancers carry with them forever is strong, familial and has proven to last far into adulthood. Many of our graduates are also teachers at Pretenders as they have returned post college to share their dance mastery with the next generation.