Modern dance explores the concepts of space, time, and energy. Incorporating classical technique, modern dance requires strength paired with freedom of movement and creativity. Modern Dance is where the Shawl-Anderson story began as the primary form practiced, performed and taught by Frank Shawl & Victor Anderson.


We offer classes for ages 1.5 to 18, including a pre-professional track for the advanced teen.  


A class for children who can walk, up to age 4. An adult (parent, guardian, nanny, etc.) must participate with the child. Click here for more information.


These age-appropriate creative dance classes involve props, stories, and imagery to inspire and facilitate movement. Students participate in improvisation as well as structured exercises that build basic modern dance vocabulary. The focus is on locomotor steps, shapes, level changes, and tempo changes.


BOYS MODERN | ages 4-9:

Taught by our longtime beloved teacher, Maurice Charrière, these classes will introduce students to modern dance in a setting that is comfortable and welcoming, and age appropriate. Maurice harnesses the energy in the room to inspire both technical and expressive dancing. While this class offers a community where boys feel welcome in the dance studio community, it is open to students of all genders.


MODERN | ages 7-12:

For new or returning students ages 7-12.


Students work on modern technique through warm-ups, traveling patterns, and short dances.  Building on foundations from earlier classes, students engage in improvisation and creative problem-solving as a group, individually, and with partners.


MODERN LEVEL II | ages 10-12:

For students who have completed Level I or have at least one year of modern dance at another studio.


Students work on alignment, traveling patterns, extended phrase work and engage in improvisation and creative problem solving as a group, individually, and with partners. Level II students take class twice a week.



For teens who are new to modern dance.


This class teaches basic vocabulary, alignment, spatial awareness, and how to see, learn, and embody movement phrases in class. Students meet twice a week and progress at an engaging pace.


Builds on beginning level classes. Permission required.


At this level students refine use of momentum, release, level change, floor work, focus, transitions and phrase work. They will practice applying corrections and engage in deeper connections and understanding of movement. Students may take one or more years of the intermediate level before progressing to advanced.


For students with several years of training in modern dance. Permission required.


This class uses the vocabulary and proper alignment that students have worked on for several years, and challenges them with warm-ups and combinations that vary in dynamic qualities, tempo, direction, and level. Students can pick up and retain movement easily, reverse combinations, and incorporate feedback from the teacher. There is a focus on personal expression through movement and high expectations of commitment to the class.

CHOREOGRAPHY | ages 12-18

Non-technique class. Students will learn and strengthen choreographic skills culminating in group and individual projects.



YouthCo is a junior performance company for students in grades 7-9. The YouthCo dancer is one who is dedicated to dance, loves to learn new choreography, has experience in ballet or modern style movement and is interested in performing. This is an application based company. More information can be found on the youth performance groups page.

SHAWL-ANDERSON YOUTH ENSEMBLE: The Shawl-Anderson Youth Ensemble (SAYE) is a pre-professional modern dance program for ages 14-18. This program is for the dedicated modern dance student who has completed the intermediate or advanced level at SADC or a comparable program, and is interested in learning and performing new choreography. As a participant in SAYE, students have the opportunity to perform in the works of Bay Area choreographers at local festivals, see live dance performances, and take master classes with world class teachers. Students are selected based on level and age via auditions in June. 

More information can be found on the youth performance groups page.


Ballet at Shawl-Anderson emphasizes proper technique, strength, musicality and expression through movement. Our program is designed to support the beginning dancer at any age to the advanced teen; if a child or teen is excited about ballet, we are excited to teach them.


Shawl-Anderson Dance Center and its teaching staff aim to move beyond any stereotypes related to ballet and to teach children in a manner that is engaging, challenging and age-appropriate. Our staff attends to the physical, intellectual and emotional development of each young dancer based on current wisdom around care for the body and the mind through dance practice.



These classes serve as an introduction to ballet.


These classes are for children ages 2 to 6 and serve as a first introduction to ballet. We offer pre-ballet classes that are based in creative dance elements where students work on locomotor steps, starting and stopping safely, and getting used to being in a class environment.  Pre-Ballet classes introduce students to the language, etiquette, music, and stories of classical ballet. Students will not focus on the rigors of ballet technique until after the age of 7 when their body is safely ready for more formal training.


Ballet (ages 7-8) combines classical ballet skills with improvisation, composition, and rhythm exercises. This approach seeks to educate the whole dancer and give them a deeper understanding of ballet technique – one that goes beyond simple copying and rote learning. Students will be introduced to the language, etiquette, music, and stories of classical ballet. While dancers learn ballet vocabulary and positions they will not focus on the rigors of classical technique until after the age of 8 when their body is safely ready for more formal training.


BOYS BALLET | ages 10-12:

While this beginning class offers an encouraging environment for boys, it is open to students of all genders. Dancers will discover and engage in ballet technique in a creative and fun atmosphere, emphasizing the use of energy, space and technique.

BALLET LEVEL I | ages 8-11:

For students who have completed pre-ballet ages 5-8, or are ages 8-11 and new to ballet.


Students learn the foundations of classical ballet technique and vocabulary using both the barre and center. This class emphasizes the value of proper alignment, strength, grace and musicality in dancing. Students may take one day or two days a week.


BALLET LEVEL II | ages 9-12:

For students ages 9-12 who have completed Ballet Level I or have had a year of ballet technique at another studio.


Students will build on previous learned technique in ballet I, continuing to build on their strength, skills, and vocabulary while developing personal expression through movement. Students take twice a week which helps the dancer maintain and progress at a more rigorous pace.



For students age 12 and up who are new to ballet.


This class is for the teen student who is interested in learning ballet among peers who are new to the form. Students will learn the foundations of classical technique, incorporate deeper thinking about the fundamentals, and move at an engaging pace. We offer a twice a week and a once a week option. Students in the once a week class should expect to take the course for two years or move up to beginning teen ballet twice a week before progressing to level III. Students in the twice a week class will be prepared to move up to level III after a full year of class and teacher recommendation.


BALLET LEVEL III | ages 10+:

For students who have completed Beginning Teen Ballet (twice a week), Ballet Level II, or are 10+ and have instructor permission.


Students will continue to strengthen technique at the barre and center. Students are required to take class twice a week and we strongly encourage three times a week to maximize progress. Students in Level III will have the opportunity to work on pointe or pre-pointe with permission. Pointe students are required to take class three times a week. For pointe readiness and requirements, see our Pointe Information page in the Youth Program Handbook.

BALLET IV, V, VI | ages 12-18

For students with several years of ballet training. Permission required.  Teachers will advise on proper placement.


These classes progress from intermediate to our most advanced level ballet class. Levels progress by pace, increased vocabulary, ability to apply corrections, artistry and commitment.


Friday classes offer the more serious student the option to take a third class during the week. Students who are interested in pointe must take class 3X a week. Students do not need to be on pointe to take these classes.

POINTE WORK | ages 12+:

At Shawl-Anderson our pointe classes are offered as an extension of ballet technique in Level III and up. Along with teacher approval, we require the student to be at least 12 years of age, have a minimum of two years of ballet training, and take ballet technique class three times a week at Shawl-Anderson. We believe that dancers can advance in ballet with or without pointe work and our teachers will give each student the best personal instruction according to their interests, abilities, and needs. For pointe readiness and requirements, see our Pointe Information page in the Youth Program Handbook.




A 6-week summer workshop class designed to give Intermediate and Advanced dancers a chance to learn classical ballet variations. This is a fun opportunity for the dancer to apply their learned technique to dances that have been performed by companies and dancers throughout the world for many generations. This class will enhance a dancers understanding of musicality, expression and history.



This year long class is open to any dancer in level IV through VI. Dancers will meet weekly in a rehearsal style format to work with various choreographers throughout the year. The group will build a repertoire ranging from contemporary ballet to classical variations. Performances will take place at local festivals and Shawl-Anderson events. This is a fun opportunity for the ballet dancer to learn, create and expand their performance skills beyond the technique class. Click here for more information.



Jazz dance is a form that is known for its strong dynamic dancing, distinct vocabulary, and stylized movement. Jazz at Shawl-Anderson is based on contemporary movement with classical jazz foundations. Students build a strong technical foundation due to the form’s roots in ballet while cultivating the expressive emotional style. Jazz provides excellent training for aspiring musical theater performers due to its performative and dynamic focus.



JAZZ | ages 8-12

This class is appropriate for beginning or returning Jazz students in the 8-12 age range


Dancers will build strength and flexibility through class exercises; isolations, traveling patterns, turns and jumps. Exercises will culminate in class phrase work to focus on musicality and performance skills.



For students new to Jazz technique


Students learn and build a strong connections between movement and music through exercises that teach and strengthen technique. Jazz incorporates isolations, traveling patterns, turns, balance and phrase work. Students will be given the opportunity to express themselves through dance through a welcoming and supportive class atmosphere.



For students with at least one year of jazz training, or a strong background in ballet or modern (with permission)


This class will build on the foundations of beginning jazz and challenge students by increasing pace, vocabulary and continue to develop expressive artistry in their dancing.



For students who have completed intermediate Jazz or have instructor permission


This class continues to build on the skills learned in intermediate jazz and challenges students to develop personal expression through movement in addition to strong technical skills. Dancers at this level are expected to demonstrate a strong work ethic and commitment to the class.

JAZZ PERFORMANCE GROUP: Jazz Performance Group (JPG) provides a performance opportunity for the jazz dancer currently in the advanced level at SADC. The JPG dancer is one who is excited about a range of jazz dance styles and ready to take on the challenge of creating new work and performing. More information can be found on the youth performance groups page.



Hip Hop classes at Shawl-Anderson build on the foundations of understanding Hip Hop culture, history and the various forms and styles of Hip Hop dance. Dancers learn to create and collaborate with classmates while exploring their own expressive voice through Hip Hop movement.


This class involves creative movement and structured exercises that build on the fundamentals of hip-hop dance. Students will learn shapes, level changes, tempo changes and more. Props, story and instruments will be used to engage creativity and inspire movement.


HIP HOP | ages 7-9:

Open to new or returning hip hop students ages 7-9


This class introduces foundational Hip Hop steps, musicality, and isolations of the body. Dancers will be challenged to pick up phrase work and create their own choreography. This class is full of movement, freestyle, play, and fun.



HIP HOP | ages 9-12:

Open to new or returning hip hop students ages 9-12

This class introduces foundational Hip Hop steps, musicality, and isolations of the body, building skills around individual expression, freestyle, choreography, retention, and performance.  


Open to new or returning hip hop students ages 12-18

Mixed Level Teen Hip Hop builds on foundational vocabulary, and musicality.  Students begin to step in front of the class as leaders, sharing their creativity, voices, and choreography. This class is both challenging and supportive.