I found Pretenders after trying everything to find a dance studio for kids that would be perfect for my daughter.  I even resorted to Google.  We found not only the best dance studio in Santa Monica, but we truly found a second family.  The teachers, led by Miss Lisa, have helped my daughter find a love of dance and a love in herself that is truly amazing.  She loves all the classes: ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, technique and now Company.  We are so lucky to be a part of this amazing community.

~ Erin D.

I started dancing at a very late age, and had no idea what to expect. As I walked into The Pretenders Studio for the first time I was immediately greeted with smiles and friendly faces. In fact, it seemed too good to be true that this supportive environment both existed and welcomed me with open arms. No one cared that I, at first, had no knowledge of dance terminology and technique. To the Pretenders Studio all that mattered was that the dancers are enjoying themselves and are improving at their own pace. Dancers at the Pretenders Studio dance for the sake of dancing, and not to please anyone but themselves. It is a place for all potential dancers, regardless of their age, to find both a fresh start and a loving team behind them.

~ Hannah M., 16

My daughter and her best friend signed up for a tap class at The Pretenders Studio 3 years ago and we have been going there ever since.  It is such warm, wonderful place where kids are made to feel welcome and included from the first day.  Lisa owns the studio and many if not all of her family are involved in the business, so there is a lovely family atmosphere there.  The teachers are top notch--so professional and talented.  I feel so lucky we found this place.  We look forward to each performance and to their summer sessions.  I always feel like my daughter is well cared for there and she really enjoys their fun classes.  We have had a terrific experience there, and I feel like being a part of The Pretenders Studio has been wonderful for my daughter.

~ Carey L.

This studio is hands down the best dance studio in Santa Monica! I have been dancing since i was in Preschool and not one of my past dance studios can compare to The Pretenders Studio. Every Wednesday and Friday afternoon i look forward to entering the studio doors, and being welcomed in to the studio as if it were my home and the staff were my family. The staff is amazing. They are people- friendly, professional and you can tell, they love what they do. Their passion for teaching dance has helped me become the dancer i am today. The teaching styles all vary but are all great. The teachers make sure that every student does the best of their ability and encourage them to take everything to the next step. They also make sure that no one is left with questions. I think that its the teachers attitude and love to teach dance, that makes taking dance at this studio a blast! As for the environment, the studio has created an airy, open, relaxed, friendly yet professional environment. If you are looking for a great dance studio, The Pretenders Dance Studio is the place to go! I promise you won't be disappointed.

~Pilar M., 15 yrs old

My daughter has been taking dance at the Pretenders for 4 years.  Not only is she learning the foundations of dance, but we feel like she has a dance "family" which is so important for a young girl.  She has also attended the summer camp (which is great) and has gone on "class trips" to see other performers or to perform for other studios in showcases.  I'm so happy we found The Pretenders.  

Signed, The mother of an 11-year-old

~Liz D.

The Pretenders Studio is The. Most. Incredible. Dance. Studio.  Ever!!!  My girls have been attending classes for the last four years and they love it.  They have learned all different dance styles and have had fantastic, caring, teachers who instill a love of dance and a sense of confidence.  I always have a smile on my face when I walk into the studio and feel the warmth of the staff.  Lisa is an accomplished choreographer, runs a very smooth business and is a huge asset to the community through all of her philanthropic endeavors.  The kids raise a lot of money for various charities and that really gives them a feeling that they are contributing to society by doing something they love.  The recitals are always a blast and the costumes are worn long after the performances are over.  I will always be grateful for the positive influence my girls have gotten by taking classes at The Pretenders.

~Noa E.

My daughter joined the studio in fall, just after we moved to CA. She has never been a big fan of ballet class, and I always had to talk her into going, but she loves her new ballet class with Miss Lisa at the Pretenders. Miss Lisa and her family run the studio with a lot of talent, experience and passion, and they ensure that everyone is having fun while learning. I was very glad and relieved to find The Pretenders Studio, as we had had a bad experience at another ballet class offered trough the City of Santa Monica when we first arrived.

~Shahira B

There is no question that this place is a true gem. The classes are fun, challenging, technique driven and satisfying every time. From the moment you walk into the studio, you feel as if you are walking into a friends home. The environment is peaceful and very positive. No matter what kind of day i am having, walking into this studio puts a smile on my face. The staff is incredible, unbelievable skilled, supportive and completely ego free. They love what they do more than anyone i have ever met. Their passion is contagious and it makes you want to keep coming back. I have been to many dance studios in the area and i have yet to find one that even comes close in professionalism and mastery of the craft as the Pretenders does. No matter what level or age you are, there are classes for you! The staff will help you (honesty) find the right fit.

~Jaclyn H.

I have a daughter with learning challenges and I was very apprehensive about enrolling her in a dance class.  Many hours were spent searching for just the right activity for my child to enjoy.  The list of concerns were high and I was quickly losing hope that I would finda place to "do it all."  Most importantly, my daughter's self esteem needed to be fostered in a non-competitive environment. I remember vividly the day I met Lisa. She explained the philosophy of The Pretenders Studio and I was jumping out of my skin with excitement.  I observed some classes and enrolled my daughter that same day!  This dance studio "walks their talk."  It is everything and more that I could have ever hoped for. Not only is my daughters self esteem flourishing, she has also discovered a love for dance and music.  She's on top of her world when she's tapping. The employee's at The Pretenders Studio have a genuine love for each and every child that walks through their door.  Their dedication towards making their studio a place to experience pure enjoyment, is second to none! 

~Marci F.

Have loved this studio for 6 years now.  My daughter takes several classes and she loves them all.  They teach great technique and provide a wonderful, caring community.  The teachers and staff are A+++! Enthusiastic and caring staff!  It's been a *great* experience for my daughter... a wonderful find.

~Mandy S.

My daughter is enrolled in tap, ballet and hip hop at The Pretenders Studio and we could not be more pleased.  She is soon to be 4 and this is her second year at The Pretenders Studio.  The family nature of the business (Lisa is the owner, her mother Cecile runs the office and her sister Amy is also a teacher), their true concern for the safety, well being and development of the children under their care and the loving atmosphere are what make this such a special place.  We checked out other studios and while they were fun there was little to no "dance" being taught.  At The Pretenders Studio my daughter is not only having a great time and making wonderful friends but also learning basic dance techniques.  The Pretenders Studio offered "trial" classes for my daughter to ensure she would be able to keep up when we first started and then again when she wanted to try out a different type of class.  I would strongly encourage anyone who is looking for a fun, safe, structured and loving environment for their children to learn dance to check out The Pretenders Studio and decide for themselves.

~Connie C.

The Pretenders Dance Studio is an AMAZING place!  The teachers are friendly, the space is gorgeous and there is a wonderful sense of community.  My five year old daughter started ballet with Miss Lisa when she was 3 yrs old and we both absolutely adore her;  The other day she called Miss Lisa her best friend!  I am so grateful I found this place!  It's so rare to find a studio like this where there are equally exciting classes for children and adults.  


This is the best dance studio in the Santa Monica area.  They've got a solid kids program and amazing classes for adults as well. Whether you're looking for fitness classes or you're a professional dancer looking for classes on the West side, you can find what you're looking for here.  New classes are being added all the time, so if you don't find the class you want, keep checking back and don't be afraid to let them know what you're looking for.  The staff is super friendly and the owner, Lisa, is open to suggestions and eager to give the locals the classes they want.  If you're looking for Dance classes in Santa Monica, this is the place to go!!


I am the Artistic Director of a theater company, Theatricians Theater Group, and I recently rented space from Pretender's Studio.  It is the most professional rehearsal space I have seen in Los Angeles.  Lisa (the owner) was professional, accommodating, and helpful.  They have created a lifelong partner with my theater community.  Their facilities were clean, beautiful, and welcoming.  My actors felt like home when they stepped into either of the 2 large studio spaces.  I would recommend the Pretenders for anyone looking for a great space to rehearse or dance.