12 answers

3 Year Old Ballet

I am planning on enrolling my 3 year old in ballet classes. I am looking at several different schools and was wondering if there were any better than the others. For instance, what is the difference between Etgen-Atkinson School of Ballet and the Texas Ballet Theater School? I am not expecting a ballerina here -- I just want something that she'll enjoy and, could go far if she was interested, (but she is not pressured to do so at all). I also want to feel comfortable with other parents, etachers, etc. I am in Lake Highlands -- can also do downtown, Richardson, Lakewood or Park Cities. Thanks!

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Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond! All of your advice sounds great -- lots to consider!

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We use the Dianne Cole School of Dance. My daughter is starting her third year there and just loves it. Their website is www.dcjdance.com and classes are starting this week. They are located in Carrollton though at Frankfort and Old Denton.

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hi T.,
I am also in Lake Highlands. I have heard over and over again that the place to go is Dallas Ballet at Royal/Abrams. My little girl is 3 too. I think Janie Christophers has space but I have heard that the program at Dallas Ballet is the best around. They are incredibly hard to reach. I recommend sending an email. We probably won't make it this fall. I work full time and I am not sure that we can do the Sat class.

We use the Dianne Cole School of Dance. My daughter is starting her third year there and just loves it. Their website is www.dcjdance.com and classes are starting this week. They are located in Carrollton though at Frankfort and Old Denton.

Hi T.,

I have taught dance, inlcuding ballet to all ages and levels for close to 20 years. I also have a master's degree in dance. The studios that other Mommas have suggested are great, but the bottom line is that your daughter is 3. At this age the best thing os for her to be in a situation where she can explore how her body moves, develop coordination, musicality, and strength. This can be accompished through classes such as creative movement, Gymboree, Kindermusik, and dance classes. Structured dance classes for a 3 year old that are specific to a particular dance form are challanging (and I say this because I have taught this age group for many years) simply because of the attention span. Classes for this age group are usually 50 minutes to an hour and involve a constant switching of activites to keep the children engaged. That is why the ballet/tap combo class is so popular.

You do not have to take her to a "top" ballet studio at this age. Recreation centers, YMCAs, and neighborhood-type studios are great for this age. Once she has been dancing for about 4 years (at age of 7) then you might look into the better programs (like Etkin-Atkinson, where I used to teach, Ballet Dallas, or Tuzur's) for more professional-level training. Of course that is if she wants to concentrate on ballet and you want to devote that time.

The important thing is for her to have fun and love to go to the class and dance. Recitals are very costly and the 3-5 year olds pretty much just stand on the stage, look cute, and do a few movements to a children's song. Kids either shut down and freeze, cry, or totally ham it up. It is more for the parents than for the kids.


I live in Lake Highlands too and have a 3 year old little girl. She took a dance camp this summer at Dallas Ballet Center. www.dallasballetcenter.com It is located at Royal and Abrams so it is close by. She had such a good time and I really liked the staff.
I researched several different options before doing this and this is what I found out from different moms. "Dancing Angels" held at different churches but most go to the one at Park Cities Baptist is kind of the "it" thing right now but is not really ballet focused. It is more for the girls just to have fun dancing. Then there is Janie Christy School of Dance. www.janiechristydance.com
It is located at Skillman and Royal and is where a lot of Lake Highland moms send there preschool kids. I heard she is great with them but not where you want to go if your child is really serious about it. So it is good for preschoolers but not really after that. If you want your child to be serious and have really good instructors then Dallas Ballet Center is the place you want to go.
We were going to do a dance camp at Janie Christy but they did not have a opening when we wanted to go so that is why we went to Dallas Ballet Center and I was very pleased. It is a professional dance atmosphere but they made it so fun for my 3 year old that she couldn't wait to go each morning and she actually learned some ballet at the same time. I would highly recommend it.

in lake highlands there is a studio Dallas Ballet Center. i find (as a dancer myself) that both schools that you mentioned are VERY focused on creating a perfessional ballerina espercially etgen-atkinson, though great schools they are not as oriented as "fun" classes. DBC allows for a little more creativity and has many classes and amazing teachers.

Hi, T.!

You might look into Whistle Stop Dance Co. in Garland (they are located at the Southeast corner of Arapaho and Jupiter). I think they have a pretty big Lake Highlands contingent.

Miss Sandra (the owner) is wonderful with kids. She is so patient and loving!

Good luck!

A great studio located in Lake Highlands:


I have heard great things about the Dallas Ballet Center in Lakewood and the Etgen-Atkinson School of Ballet in University Park.

Chamberlain School of Performing Arts in Plano is supposed to very very good with a great reputation.

Girls are fun! I can hardly wait until mine turns 3 and can go to ballet and have afternoon tea with me. :)

I recommend http://kingdomdancekids.com for children's dance. My daughter took a 3 year old jazz/ballet class and learned a lot (not just dance steps, but listening, taking turns, sharing and more) The teacher was great and the recital was optional. We did it and it was a great experience. They put together a really nice show for the kids and parents. The have a Highland Park location.

Hi T.
We love the Janie Chrity school of dance.
She offers creative movement for the little one,age 3 and from age 4 pre ballet.
My daughters love to go there. It's a place full of love for children.
Janie Christy school of dance
9090 Skillman St #299-A
Dallas, Tx 75243
214 - 343 - 7472
Sincerely E.

T., if you're in Lake Highlands, you should check out AD Dance at Buckner and Northcliff. Amanda Dalton is the teacher, and she is wonderful with the little ones. My three-year-old daughter takes pre-ballet with her, and I'm amazed at how much real ballet they learn while playing their games. The spring recital was one of the most adorable things I've ever seen. She's signing kids up now for classes starting next week. She is a mamasource sponsor, so you can check her out here, or you can go to her website at www.addance.com.

We have been with Tuzer Dance Company for going on 3 years and love it. It is quite a serious ballet company and not inexpensive but worth it. They are in Richardson (Arapaho & Glenville area)

Good luck.

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