3rd St. Dance & PBDA
3rd STREET DANCE
(formerly Studio of Performing Arts) 310-275-4683
This was the first dance school I attended. I took the following classes there: EAST COAST SWING, LINDY HOP (savoy), WEST COAST SWING, SALSA/MERENGUE/CHA CHA, & HUSTLE.
The advanced Lindy Hop (savoy) class I took there with the owner, Peri was so much fun! -- there were about 12 of us, it moved fast and it was exciting because in one hour we did about 12 moves. At the end Perry would always say: "From the top!" as she sped up the music and opened the door of our studio to let the hopefuls check us out....If Savoy is your preferred style, and Perry teaches this class again(running the business keeps her very busy), I would highly recommend it.
THERE WERE A NUMBER OF TEACHERS THAT I REALLY ENJOYED: PERI, HEATHER, CRAIG and LAURA
THE PLUSES :
- good friendly atmosphere
- most classes are small enough (averaging 10-40 people) to get personal attention, and often dance with the teacher
- all the rooms have mirrors, very helpful when you're learning
- classes move at a good pace
- classes start on time!
- there's air conditioning!!
- they limit the number of students in each room, for the comfort of the dancers
- parking is difficult, unless you park on a structure across the street, on a side street (they validate, but it's still not free)
- the traffic jam in the office, you have to line up to check in, and many classes start at the same time
- another traffic jam by the bathrooms, only one toilet for women and one for men
- sometimes your favorite class (especially if it's advanced) may get cancelled without much warning, because there is more demand for beginning classes
- there are students who are allowed to go into advanced classes, when they are not ready
- classes are back-to-back so you can rarely stay in the room and practice after
to their WEBSITE
PASADENA BALLROOM DANCE ASSOCIATION
This is the place where I went for my first LINDY HOP (savoy) lessons and I continued to go up to the top level.
At first, it was very exciting. The energy in a room filled with so many people wanting to learn this dance, was very exhilarating. They broke things down meticulously and it was very helpful as a beginner.
Also, I made a lot of good dance friends there. It was a great social scene and a bunch of us always had lunch after Saturday classes. I have fond memories of those days.
But as I got to be more advanced, I didn't feel as if I learned enough during each lesson, the pace was too slow.
- good friendly atmosphere
- good pace for beginners
- convenient parking + near the freeway
- you usually got a longer class than expected
- they provided practice time after classes
- you don't have to pay extra to take other level classes on the same day (on Saturdays, you may take three classes for the price of one)
- dancers who don't belong in advanced class may be asked to repeat level 2, thus not slowing down the advanced group
- there are too many (up to 200 or more) people in the classes, it feels impersonal, you don't get personal attention from teachers
- they don't seem to limit the number of students, as huge as the place is, there were times when there simply wasn't enough room to dance without being kicked
- there aren't any mirrors to help the learning process
- classes don't start on time (usually 20 to 30 minutes late)
- too much breaking down of moves for advanced dancers
- Summer evening classes, at the smaller location, are too hot, there's no air conditioning
- Because classes are so large, setting up the rotation takes about 15 minutes!
The above reflects my own personal experience, which may be different than yours. I hope that this can be helpful to you if you're shopping for a school.
My favorite Hollywood Style Lindy Hop instructors are at neither of these schools -- I've taken all of their classes at three swing camps and privates at my home:
ERIK ROBISON & SYLVIA SKYLAR (of course!!!)