At Lauridsen Ballet Centre, the well-timed tinkling of piano keys accompanies each leap and plié. Live musical accompaniment is just one of the ways in which the school's professional instructors, led by artistic director Diane Lauridsen, preserve the classical traditions of their art. They maintain a careful balance between encouraging attitudes and rigorous lessons, cultivating physical poise at the same time as mental focus.
Classes for ages three and up accommodate all skill levels, from beginner to pre-professional, and performances through the non-profit South Bay Ballet company showcase students' skills. Though they consider much of their choreography timeless, the staff does not neglect advances in the science of dance—they incorporate current discoveries in the fields of anatomy and movement to enhance both children's and adult classes. Their summer camp intensive also helps attendees to achieve new levels of grace and balance.
The professionally trained faculty at Vonder Haar Center opens the floodgates of creativity through an array of performance classes that teach the basics while prepping aspiring showstoppers for the stage. Peruse the class schedule to determine your artistic avenue of choice, from intro to dance sessions for tots ages 3 and up, to hip-hop, ballet, and voice lessons for teens and adults. Novice steppers and impassioned professionals alike can benefit from the disciplined yet stimulating offerings at VHC, as these confidence-building courses rally talent muscles into a maelstrom of theatrical output strong enough to fry power grids and crack opera goggles. Children must have their class days and times scheduled in advance, while adults may drop in on any session of their chosen class.
This clean, modern studio offers 1,100 square feet of smooth hardwood floors, enabling enthusiastic rug cutting or slicing of welcome mats into tiny shreds. An impressive roster of instructors shepherds youthful lambs and aged cloven hooves through a selection of dance styles. Plié through Perry Brown’s classical ballet class, or learn the more relaxed style of modern dance with courses based on both the expressive Limón-based technique and the athletic Horton-based method. Bouncy big-banders and frenetic be-boppers can explore jazz-dance fundamentals with contemporary jazz teacher Joseph Decker, who has choreographed stage productions of Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors, among others. Mix and match classes to sample the colors of dance, like biting into a crayon sandwich. Morning and evening classes are held Monday through Thursday and morning classes only on Saturday and Sunday; check out the schedule for a complete list of times.
Were it not for the discerning ears of Harvey Kalmenson, the childhood classic All Dogs Go to Heaven and the popular video game Call of Duty might sound much different. Alternatively, under the skillful direction of Cathy Kalmenson, 329 voices lent their vocal talents for the 1992 Emmy nominated television mini-series The Wild West. Those are just a few examples of the Kalmensons' casting prowess in a long list of high-profile clients. The veteran husband and wife duo of voice-casting directors are the team behind Kalmenson & Kalmenson, a casting company that scouts actors for voice-over work (clients include celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Jim Belushi) and teaches the art of inflection at voice-acting classes. The companies also cast for commercials with a résumé that includes casting for the original Budweiser Beer frogs, Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger, and the voice of BMW.
The instructors at LA Dance Central draw from diverse dance backgrounds. One instructor got his start break dancing in Russia at the age of 10, and another has toured the world as a principal ballet dancer and performed with the Pussycat Dolls. In two ballrooms?one in Los Angeles, one in Burbank?they share their expertise with students, guiding groups through West Coast swing, salsa, Argentine tango, and other dances. Students can also opt for private lessons for one-on-one attention.
Signature service: [Instruction by] Miluka Rivera
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Pro Tip: Quality instruction in a nurturing, lovely and safe environment.