Announcing the Steppin' Out 2018-19 Teaching Staff

Steppin' Out Dance Studio is thrilled to welcome Emily Hansel, who will be teaching alongside returning teachers Zoe Swenson-Graham, Sonja DaleOliva Lei Byers-Straus and studio owner and director Angela Rose Dorantes during the 2018-19 season. We are also excited about our long-term substitute teachers Maggie Connard (covering for Zoe on Saturdays during the first half of Spring 2019) and Melissa Vesel (covering for Zoe on Wednesdays during the first half of Spring 2019).

Thank you! + Steppin' Out June News

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you! Thank you to our dancers who danced their hearts out. Thank you to our parent volunteers who made sure everything ran smoothly. Thank you to our wonderful staff for managing the show, handing out programs, selling flowers, videotaping, and generally assisting. Thank you to our teachers who bring magic to each performance with their incredible choreography and inspiring leadership. And especially, thank you to you, our audience, for being there. Wasn't it amazing?

We'll miss you all this summer but look forward to seeing you after Labor Day.

All our love,
The Steppin' Out Team


  • Classes have ended for the 2017-18 season and Steppin' Out will be closed for the summer. Go have fun and enjoy your break.
  • If you were in the show, you'll receive an email with instructions about how to download the performance videos once they are ready.
  • You'll also get notified about the process for ordering photos from our dress rehearsal photo shoot.
  • The fall schedule will be released later this summer and registration notification will happen through the newsletter, so watch this space--we hope you'll join us for the 2018-19 season, starting after Labor Day.

Did you love Teacher Zoe's choreography at the performance? Want to see more of it? Teacher Zoe collaborated with a former Steppin' Out teacher, Teacher Nicole, on a Mountain Play production of Mama Mia that runs through the middle of June (with sing-along Saturday happening this weekend). Find more information or tickets here.

If you made it to the advanced showcase, you saw some of the beautiful solos our older dancers created. Want that to be your child someday? Start asking your child to make part of a dance. Dances get made in phrases, so a great way to practice choreographing is to make a dance to the chorus of a song (then you'll also get lots of chances to repeat it). Have your child pick a song and improvise to it, then see what movements repeat. Next, see if you can collaborate on turning those repeated movements into a short dance. Try this with different songs (fast, slow, happy, moving, rhythmic, etc.) on different weeks. Sometimes it's fun to use the "fast" choreography with the slow song (and vice versa).

Dance in an art museum? The Hammer Museum says "yes" and includes dance in its "Made in L.A." biennial this summer. Read more here.

The summer break can be long--keep dance on your children's minds by playing their performance songs periodically this summer.

Costume Information + Steppin' Out May News

Costume information is here! Please check our costume list for pricing and other details. You can pay for your costume (along with your performance fee if you haven't already paid it) at the front desk. Costumes may go home as soon as payment is made. However, please do hang those costumes in a safe place till the dress rehearsal (though we encourage dress up fun as soon as the performance is over). Also, please check to see that you have everything you need. Most costumes require white or nude tights, which can be purchased at the front desk for an extra $5 (or you may purchase them on your own). Note that hair accessories, if included with costumes, should be worn on the center or the right. Lastly, if you'd like to add $1 to your payment to help a family that needs assistance with purchasing costumes, that would be appreciated. Should assistance be helpful to your family, please contact Angela.

Our dress rehearsal is fast approaching! Please check the dress rehearsal schedule and join us on Sunday, May 20th, at your designated time. Our dress rehearsal will take place at Everett Middle School (free parking will be available in the school yard). Dancers should bring their costumes to practice in, but make up is not required until the performance.

Please double check your dancer's performance time. Call time is 45 minutes prior to show time. Dancers should arrive with their hair and make up done (please see make up guidelinesfor more information). Hair may be worn in any style you wish, but it must be brushed. 

During the performance, dancers will sit with their classes in a designated area of the theater with a parent volunteer. From these seats they will be able to watch the show and Angela will be able to find them when it's their turn to go on stage. Once the class has performed its first dance, the dancers will be brought back to their seats in the audience. Parents must then change their own children's shoes and assist with any costume changes before the next dance. We ask that all families please do their utmost to keep things quiet during these changes as the performance will be ongoing and other dancers will be on stage. At the end of the show, all dancers will go back on stage for a final company bow. Please pick up your child at the stage after bows. You will have time to congratulate your dancers and take pictures.    

Check the studio for the performance flyers. We encourage you to take a couple and and invite your friends and family. Admission is free and so is the parking! Bring as many guests as you'd like; the theater has plenty of room. Also, we will have flowers and water for sale during the performance.

A fun look at Chris Grant and JaQuel Knight, Beyoncé's Coachella choreographers for her two-hour "homecoming performance" dance extravaganza.

While it's not always true that you're "never fully dressed without a smile," it turns out that your face is still part of your body! Sometimes dancing with your face means smiling, other times it means looking intently straight ahead, but it's always part of the way you move and project on stage. Many dancers don't even realize the face they bring to performances. Warming up the face before the show can help (for example, have your dancers make exaggerated  "ooo" faces, followed by "aaah" faces), as can taking a short video of your children practicing and then playing it back, asking them to focus only on their faces. Then discuss. Did the face and the mood of the dance match? A little practice and reflection can go a long way towards producing some wonderful faces on stage in early June.

To get your dancers in the mood for theirperformance, watcha performance, whether live or recorded--sometimes even watching last year's Steppin' Out performance can help dancers get into the right headspace.

2018 Annual Performance Costume Pricing and Details

Please check your class time to locate your costume information. Additionally, most dancers will need white or nude tights, which may be purchased from the front desk for $5 or bought separately. Payment for costumes is due now and costumes may be taken home once payment is received.

Saturday 9:00 back studio class $42

Tap & ballet: Blue dance dress. You will need white tights

Saturday 9:00 front studio class $46

Tap: Yellow dance dress, black tutu, and bumble bee headband 

Ballet: Yellow dance dress

You will need white tights.

Saturday 10:00 back studio class $60

Lyrical: Rainbow dress with sash

Tap: Black leotard and burgundy skirt 

You will need nude tights.

Saturday 10:00 front studio class $42

Tap: Black leotard and purple sparkle skirt 

Ballet: Black leotard and butterfly wings 

You will need white tights.

Saturday 11:00 back studio class TBD

Saturday 11:00 front studio class $42

Tap: Gold leotard and black and gold sequin skirt 

Ballet: Gold leotard and teal skirt

You will need nude tights.

Saturday 12:00 back studio class

If you are enrolled in the Wednesday 6:00 ballet class your cost is $0. We will wear the same blue dress and black leotard underneath and add a silver sequin sash for tap. For jazz we will wear the same black leotard and you will need to get your own black shorts and flannel shirt.

Saturday 12:00 front studio class $45 ladies $25 men

Tap ladies: Dress with black and white harlequin belt (wear your black leggings under) 

Tap men: Black vest, bow tie, handkerchief, and top hat (wear your black pants)

Jazz ladies: teal tank top (wear your black leggings)

Jazz men: teal t-shirt (wear your black pants)

Ladies will need to get black leggings.

Men will need black pants and a white collared button down shirt.

Tuesday 3:00 front studio class $35

Tap: Pink dance tutu dress

Ballet: Pink dance tutu dress and bunny ears

You will need white tights.

Tuesday 3:00 back studio class $42

Tap & Ballet: Lavender dance dress 

You will need white tights.

Tuesday 4:00 front studio class $40

Tap: Fuchsia tutu dress

Ballet: Fuchsia tutu dress and rainbow tutu

You will need white tights.

Tuesday 4:00 back studio class $36

Tap & Ballet: Red sequin dress 

You will need white tights.

Tuesday 5:00 front studio class $42

Tap: Aqua leotard and sequin dress 

Ballet: Aqua leotard and white tutu skirt 

You will need white tights.

Tuesday 5:00 back studio class TBD

Wednesday 9:30 girls $25 boys $20

Girls: Mini Mouse dance dress and ears

Boys: black pants, white shirt, suspenders, bow tie, and Mickey ears 

Girls will need white tights.

Wednesday 10:30 girls $40

Girls tap & ballet: baby blue leotard, tutu and flower sash 

You will need white tights

Wednesday 4:00 back studio class $55

Tap: Black leotard, flapper dress, pearl necklace, and feather head dress 

Lyrical Ballet: Black leotard and royal blue sparkle skirt

You will need nude tights.

Wednesday 4:00 front studio class $46

Tap: White leotard, black skirt, and red sequin belt

Ballet: White leotard, white swan tutu, and feather headband You will need nude tights

Wednesday 5:00 front studio class TBD

Wednesday 5:00 back studio class TBD

Wednesday 6:00 back studio class $40

Blue dance dress and black leotard 

You will need nude tights.

Thursday 9:30 girls $40 boys $15

Girls tap & ballet: baby blue leotard, tutu and flower sash 

Boys: blue stripe pants, white shirt, suspenders and bow tie 

Girls will need white tights.

Thursday 4:00 front studio class $46

Tap: Yellow leotard, black fringe skirt and bumble bee headband 

Ballet: Yellow leotard and rainbow tutu

You will need white tights.

Thursday 4:00 back studio class $50

Tap: Black leotard and gold pants (hats are on loan from Angela) 

Ballet: Black leotard and tutu skirt

You will need nude tights.

Thursday 5:00 front studio girls $50 boys $30

Girls tap: Blue leotard and raindrop skirt

Boys tap: Blue shirt and black pants

Girls ballet: Blue leotard, tutu and flower sash 

Boys ballet: Nutcracker soldier costume

Girls will need white tights

Thursday 5:00 back studio ladies $15 or $0

If you are enrolled in the Saturday 12:00 class the cost to you is $0 since we will be using the same teal tank tops. If Thursday is your only dance class your cost is $15 and you will need to get your own black leggings. Gregory is all set!

Performance and Dress Rehearsal Line Ups + Steppin' Out April News

This edition is full of fun announcements, including our song list, dress rehearsal schedule, and performance schedule! Please be sure to look through everything this month. Also, as a sneak preview, know that in our May newsletter we'll provide costume pricing and the specific song order of each performance.

Each dancer who will be participating in the annual performance will be charged a performance fee during the month of April (please see the front desk to pay by check, cash, or credit card). This fee covers free admission for an unlimited number of guests, free parking in the school yard at Everett Middle School for the dress rehearsal and all three performances, and a free video link to the recorded version of the show. Fees are $40 per dancer (for multiple dancers from the same family, add $10 for your second dancer and $5 for your third [or more!] dancer/s, etc.).

Our Dress Rehearsal will be held on Sunday, May 20th at Everett Middle School. Find your dancer's call time here. Here are some tips from Angela for rehearsal success:

1) Please arrive on time. We have over 200 dancers and only a short amount of time. Your call window is an hour, but we may be able to dismiss some dancers earlier if we stay on schedule. You will share your hour with other classes, so please bring something to do while you wait.

2) The school parking lot will offer free parking during the rehearsal.

3) Classes rehearsing from 6:00-8:00 do not need to wear their costumes. We want to spend more time on stage working on spacing instead of changing in and out of costumes.

4) Stage make up is not necessary during the dress rehearsal (but will be for the performance).

5) The dress rehearsal is an opportunity for the dancers to get up on stage and practice before the big day. Plus it's a lot of fun!


  • Saturday, June 2nd: Shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.: Find your dancer's show/s here (note that only the Saturday noon advanced class will perform both at 11 and at 2).
  • Sunday, June 3rd: Advanced Showcase, 5 p.m.: See the list of invited classes here (scroll down).

All shows will take place at Everett Middle School

For dancers who might have overdone the chocolate yesterday, it's the perfect time to practice extra hopping. To hop in dancer form, dancers should engage their cores, stack their joints (ankles to knees to hips to shoulders), glue their inner thighs together, bend at the knee (pointing knees straight forward) and then push down into the floor to hop up, pointing their toes. The most critical part of hopping for knee health is the landing. Encourage your dancers to land silently by bending their knees on the way down and keeping their cores just as tight. And make sure to follow up with a carrot!

Come see Teacher Sonja dance as Alice in Alice in Wonderland with Mark Foehringer Dance Project. This is the same company that does the "Nutcracker Sweets" and its performances are highly kid-friendly and capped at 50 minutes for young (and sometimes wiggly) audiences. For more information, cool photos, and tickets, see the MFDP website

Download your performance songs by checking our song list here. Listen in the car, practice in your living room, live your music!

Dress Rehearsal Schedule Sunday, May 20th, 2-8 p.m.


Saturday 9am (front studio) Saturday 9am (back studio) Tuesday 4:00 (front studio) Tuesday 4:00 (back studio)


Tuesday 3:00 (front studio) Tuesday 3:00 (back studio) Wednesday 9:30 Wednesday 10:30 Thursday 9:30 Saturday 10:00 (front studio)


Thursday 4:00 (front studio) Thursday 4:00 (back studio) Tuesday 5:00 (front studio) Tuesday 5:00 (back studio)


Wednesday 4:00 (front studio) Wednesday 4:00 (back studio) Saturday 11:00 (front studio) Thursday 5:00 (front studio)


Wednesday 5:00 (front studio) Saturday 10:00 (back studio) Saturday 11:00 (back studio) Saturday 12:00 (front studio) Thursday 5:00 (back studio)


Saturday 12:00 (back studio) Wednesday 5:00 (back studio) Wednesday 6:00 (back studio) 

Spring 2018 Song List

Most songs can be found on iTunes and the ones that are edited are noted.  Please download and practice at home!

  • Tuesday 3:00 (front studio)

Bunny Rabbit Blues: Children’s Dance Favorites- Blues Series

If You’re Happy and You Know It: John Arch Ambault & David Plummer-Chicka Boom Boom Series Volume One (EDITED)

  • Tuesday 3:00 (back studio)

I See the Light: Mandy Moore-Tangled Soundtrack 

You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Randy Newman-Toy Story Soundtrack

  • Tuesday 4:00 (back studio)

Rockin’ Robin: Jackson Five

A Million Dreams: The Greatest Showman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

  • Tuesday 4:00 (front studio)

You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile (Cast Version): Alicia Morton- Annie (Original Soundtrack)

Let’s Go Fly a Kite: The Tiny Boppers

  • Tuesday 5:00 (front studio)

Singin’ in the Rain: The Sound of Musical Orchestra- Musical and Movie Music 4 Kids

Everything At Once: Lenka- Two (Bonus Track Version)

  • Tuesday 5:00 (back studio)

Can’t Stop the Feeling!: Justin Timberlake, Original Song from “Trolls"

  • Wednesday 9:30 (front studio)

Mickey Mouse’s Birthday Party: Dance Film Review Enhanced CD (May Not be available)

  • Wednesday 10:30 (front studio)

It’s the Hard Knock Life- Song has been edited

Sing- Carpenters (edited)

  • Wednesday 4:00 (front studio)

Razzle Dazzle: Richard Gere- Chicago (Music from the Motion Picture)  

 Dance of the Little Swans: Regency Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Wednesday 4:00 (back studio)

Thoroughly Modern Milly: Michael Rafter-Original Broadway Cast Ensemble

Rise Up: Andra Bay

  • Wednesday 5:00 (back studio)

No Roots: Alice Merton

  • Wednesday 5:00 (front studio)

King of New York: Newsies Ensemble-Original Motion Picture

Feel It Still: Portugal the Man

  • Wednesday 6:00 (back studio)

Before Dawn: Michael Gungor & Tyler Chester-On Earth

  • Thursday 9:30 (front studio)

It’s the Hard Knock Life- Song has been edited version not available 

Sing: Carpenters (edited-cut short)

  • Thursday 4:00 (front studio)

Let’s Go Fly a Kite: The Tiny Boppers

Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee: Kimbo Children’s Music-Children’s Dance Baby Class Hits red series

  • Thursday 4:00 (back studio)

Duel With Facilities: Nick Urata- Paddington Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

One: A Chorus Line (40th Anniversary Celebration) Original Broadway Cast

  • Thursday 5:00 (front studio)

Singin’ in the Rain: The Sound of Music Orchestra-Musical & Movie Music 4 Kids

Nutcracker- Act II: Mother Ginger and her Polichinelles: David Zinman & New York City Ballet Orchestra- George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

  • Thursday 5:00 (back studio)

Hung Up: Madonna

  • Saturday 9:00 (front studio)

Bumble Bee Boogie: Linda Arnold  

Let’s all Dance Like a Daisy: Kimbo Children’s Music (Edited)

  • Saturday 9:00 (back studio)

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes: Lily James- Cinderella (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Broadway Baby: Dorothy Loudon-Broadway Baby

  • Saturday 10:00 (front studio)

Take to the Sky: Jordan Pruitt- Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure

The Bare Necessities-Animation Soundtrack Ensemble Musical & Movie Music 4 Kids

  • Saturday 10:00 (back studio)

Rockin’ Robin: The Jackson Five 

Over the Rainbow: Glee Cast Version

  • Saturday 11:00 (front studio)

Go the Distance: Roger Bart-Hercules Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack

You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile: Alicia Morton- Cast Version Original Soundtrack

  • Saturday 11:00 (back studio)

Feeling Good: Michael Bublé 

Friend Like Me: Animation Soundtrack- Musical & Movie Music 4 Kids

  • Saturday 12:00 (front studio)

The Greatest Show: The Greatest Showman Ensemble (Song starts at 50n seconds in)

Can’t Stop the Feeling: Justin Timberlake-Original Song from “Trolls”

  • Saturday 12:00 (back studio)

That Man: Caro Emerald (edited slightly slower)

Brand New: Ben Rector

Annual Performance Line Up

Saturday June 2, 2018 11 a.m. performance

  • Tuesday 3:00 (front studio) Bunny Rabbit Blues & If You’re Happy and You Know It

  • Tuesday 3:00 (back studio) I See the Light & You’ve Got a Friend in Me

  • Tuesday 4:00 (back studio) Rockin’ Robin & A Million Dreams

  • Tuesday 4:00 (front studio) You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile & Let’s Go Fly a Kite

  • Tuesday 5:00 (front studio) Singin’ in the Rain & Everything At Once

  • Wednesday 9:30 (front studio) Mickey Mouse’s Birthday Party

  • Wednesday 10:30 (front studio) It’s the Hard Knock Life & Sing (together with the Thursday class)

  • Thursday 9:30 (front studio) It’s the Hard Know Life & Sing (together with the Wednesday class)

  • Wednesday 4:00 (back studio)Thoroughly Modern Milly & Rise Up

  • Wednesday 5:00 (back studio) No Roots

  • Wednesday 5:00 (front studio) King of New York & Feel It Still

  • Wednesday 6:00 (back studio) Before Dawn

  • Saturday 12:00 (back studio) That Man & Brand New

    Saturday June 2, 2018 2 p.m. performance

  • Tuesday 5:00 (back studio) Can’t Stop the Feeling!

  • Wednesday 4:00 (front studio) Razzle Dazzle & Dance of the Little Swans

  • Thursday 4:00 (front studio) Let’s Go Fly a Kite & Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee

  • Thursday 4:00 (back studio) Duel With Facilities & One

  • Thursday 5:00 (front studio) Singin’ in the Rain & Nutcracker- Act II: Mother Ginger and her Polichinelles

  • Thursday 5:00 (back studio) Hung Up

  • Saturday 9:00 (front studio)Bumble Bee Boogie & Lets all Dance Like a Daisy

  • Saturday 9:00 (back studio) A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes & Broadway Baby

  • Saturday 10:00 (front studio)Take to the Sky & Bare Necessitie

  • Saturday 10:00 (back studio) Rockin’ Robin & Over the Rainbow

  • Saturday 11:00 (front studio) Go the Distance & You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

  • Saturday 11:00 (back studio) Feeling Good & Friend Like Me

  • Saturday 12:00 (front studio) The Greatest Show & Can’t Stop the Feeling

  • Saturday 12:00 (back studio)That Man & Brand New

Sunday June 3, 2018 5 p.m. performance

  • Wednesday 4:00 (back studio)Thoroughly Modern Milly & Rise Up

  • Wednesday 5:00 (back studio) No Roots

  • Wednesday 5:00 (front studio) King of New York & Feel it Still

  • Wednesday 6:00 (back studio) Before Dawn

  • Thursday 5:00 (back studio) Hung Up

  • Saturday 10:00 (back studio) Rockin’ Robin & Over the Rainbow

  • Saturday 11:00 (back studio) Never Had a Friend Like Me & Feeing Good

  • Saturday 12:00 (back studio) That Man & Brand New

  • Saturday 12:00 (front studio) Can’t Stop the Feeling & The Greatest Show 

Costumes Are Coming + Steppin' Out March News

We're happy to announce that your dancers have begun learning their choreography for the spring performance. Dances are starting to take shape and the teachers ask that students avoid missing any classes from this point forward. This month we will also be measuring students for costumes! All students are encouraged to take part in the performance, but if you don't want to or can't, please let us know as soon as possible so we don't order your child a costume (not all costumes are returnable and some take weeks to arrive). Estimated costume costs run from $30-$60 per costume, and we will make every attempt to keep the costs down. Should you need assistance with costumes, please contact Angela.

Steppin' Out will be open for spring break as different schools observe different breaks, so please come to class if at all possible.


  • Sunday, May 20th: Dress Rehearsal, 2-8 p.m. (each class will be called for a 30-45 minute window during those six hours and teen dancers will be called in the later part of the day).
  • Saturday, June 2nd: Shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (full announcements about which time your dancer will perform will be made at the start of April)
  • Sunday, June 3rd: Advanced Showcase, 5 p.m.

The dress rehearsal and all shows will take place at Everett Middle School. More details coming soon.

We're so happy the rainy season has finally started to arrive, but if you have an upcoming birthday in the family, you might want an indoor option. Steppin' Out offers fabulous and fun movement-themed birthday parties of any kind, from basic to turn-key, at can't-be-beat pricing. Reserve yours now.

Dance requires the ability to balance, and not just during a relevé or arabesque. The start of good dance balance is really alignment. This means that we stack our major joints in relation their neighbors, knees over ankles, hips over knees, shoulders over hips, and so forth. A great way to find balance is to experiment with losing it. Have your dancers move their joints out of alignment and note whether they feel "balanced." Then have them try to realign and stand nice and centered with their tummies lifted. The old "walk with a book on your head" method (while harder for those with silkier hair!) can help our dancers develop a better sense of alignment as well.

We really enjoyed reading about how American Ballet Theater principal dancer Isabella Boylston became Jennifer Lawrence's dance double for the movie Red Sparrow.

Encourage your dancers to practice good studio etiquette by watching their classmates while waiting for their turns and clapping at the end of class.

Spring Semester Is Here + Steppin' Out February News

Welcome to spring semester! We've officially transitioned into the part of year when the focus is on the annual performance. Students will begin learning choreography for their dances this month, so please try to attend as often as possible. Additionally, we have some dates to put on your calendar: On Sunday, May 20th we will hold dress rehearsal at Everett Middle School from 2-8 p.m.(each class will be called for a 30-45 minute window during those six hours and teen dancers will be called in the later part of the day). Our show dates will be June 2nd and 3rd at Everett Middle School. Half of our classes will perform on Saturday, June 2nd at 11 a.m. and the other half will perform that same day at 2 p.m. Our advanced dancers will have an additional performance on Sunday, June 3rd at 5 p.m. Everett Middle School will offer parking in the school yard for each performance and dress rehearsal. Stay tuned for more details down the road.

If your dancers come on Saturday, please remember that there will be no class on Saturday, February 17th in honor of Lunar New Year (you have been charged accordingly). Saturday classes will meet all the other Saturdays in February, though, so see you at the studio.

In winter, it's important that all of our dancers stretch more carefully before class (even though, if you live in SF, you might feel like it's summer right now!). This month's focus is on a hip opener that you and your children can do together. Small kids love "beating their wings" like butterflies. To help them, butterfly together! Sit with the bottoms of your feet touching and your knees extending to the sides. You can hold your ankles to keep the pose stable. Next, gently "flutter your wings" by moving your knees up and down (be careful not to overextend the downward movement of this stretch--protect those knees). Ask your children where they would like to fly today. After you've flown for a minute or two, have your child's butterfly get "sleepy"--fold heads into feet for a deeper stretch. This is a great hip opener for before or after class or anytime you feel stiff.

We loved watching this moving tribute to dancers of different ages, cultures, and abilities and thought you and your children might love it, too. Watch the Ontario Arts Council's beautiful video, Why I Dance.

We're sad to report that SF Dancewear, one of our go-to stores for dance attire, is closing its doors after 43 years of business. Their website reports that the building they were renting has been sold. Please consider supporting their going out of business sale (happening now). We'll miss having such a comprehensive dance store in SF.

Spread the word! For the first two weeks of February, come take an extra class Wednesday or Thursday morning for FREE! Our Wednesday 10:30-11:30 a.m. and Thursday 9:30-10:30 a.m. classes (both Tap/Pre-ballet/Tumbling class for ages 3-5 with teacher Angela) are open for free drop ins on February 7th, 8th, 14th, and 15th. This invitation is valid for anyone, whether or not they are a current Steppin' Out family, so why not bring a friend and celebrate Valentine's Day with dance?

Speaking of Valentine's Day, consider making it sugar-free! Simply use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut pieces of fruit and create your own (healthy and festive) treats.

Spring 2018 Registration Now Open

Spring registration is now open. All class spots are available on a first come, first-served basis, so register as early as you can to get the schedule you prefer.

You can register now for spring or read on for more information. 


Our spring semester will run for seventeen weeks, except for Saturday classes, which will run for sixteen weeks and be pro-rated accordingly. The spring term is from February 1st through May 30th and will focus on preparation for the annual performance. Tuition for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday spring classes is $248 (17 classes x $14/class + $10 registration fee); tuition for Saturday spring classes is $234 (16 classes x $14/class + $10 registration fee).

Please note that almost all spring classes will have the same teachers as fall classes did, but students who danced with Teacher Dora on Tuesdays this fall will have Teacher Zoe in the spring due to scheduling issues (Teacher Dora will still be with us and will be teaching as much as her schedule permits). 

  • Read more about our teachers here.
  • View the spring class schedule here.
  • Learn more about tuition and policies here.


We offer discounts for multiple classes or siblings as follows:

  • For two classes or two dancers per family: 10% off the semester
  • For three classes or three dancers per family: 15% off the semester
  • For four classes or four dancers per family: 20% off the semester
  • For five classes or five dancers per family, 25% off the semester, etc.

Please note that multi-class discounts are only available when paying for multiple classes in the same transaction.

Please register here or email us with any questions or problems:


We hope today proves a powerful opportunity for reflection on the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are some events in San Francisco today that may be of interest.

Spring Registration + Steppin' Out January News

Happy New Year! Here is some important information for returning families. First of all, your fall tuition covers classes through the month of January and classes resume this Saturday, 1/6, so please come back! We'll see your dancers at the studio soon. Second, spring semester begins at the start of February. Registration is not automatic from fall to spring or spring to the following fall; however, we do offer continuing families priority registration. Here are some important details about registering for spring:

Registration Timeline

  • Pre-registration: On Monday, January 8th at 8:30 a.m., Steppin' Out will email a special link to all currently enrolled families. To continue in your current class(es), follow the link to register. 
  • Early Registration: On Monday, January 15th at 8:30 a.m., Steppin' Out will send an email to our newsletter subscribers with registration links, allowing the Steppin' Out community to register for any remaining spots in classes (whether or not they were enrolled for fall). You are welcome to forward this email to friends or family.
  • General Registration: On Thursday, January 18th, any remaining spots will be opened to the general public.

Spring Schedule
Our spring semester will run for seventeen weeks, except for Saturday classes, which will run for sixteen weeks and be pro-rated accordingly. The spring term is from February 1st through May 30th and will focus on preparation for the annual performance. Tuition for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday spring classes is $248 (17 classes x $14/class + $10 registration fee); tuition for Saturday spring classes is $234 (16 classes x $14/class + $10 registration fee).

View the spring class schedule here and learn more about tuition and policies here.

Choosing the Right Class
Dancers remain in the same class from fall to spring. Should you have any questions about your family's schedule, please contact Angela:

Please note that almost all fall classes will be the same during spring term, but students who danced with Teacher Dora on Tuesdays this fall will have Teacher Zoe in the spring due to scheduling issues (Teacher Dora will still be with us and will be teaching as much as her schedule permits). Read more about our teachers here.

Plank is a wonderful movement to help build core strength that's perfect for the whole family (especially right after the holidays!) and is also adjustable depending on age or level. Starting on their tummies, beginners can interlock their fingers and press down with their elbows as they tuck their toes and lift their bodies a few inches off the floor so that only their toes and arms are touching. Remember that shoulder blades slide down the back and the core stays engaged. If this is too hard, try the same move with knees down. If it's too easy, use just the hands instead of the entire forearm. More advanced dancers can move between two straight arms (palms pressing down) to side plank (right hand presses down along with the pinky-toe edge of the right foot while the body faces the left side of the room and the left arm reaches to the sky; repeat on the other side). When first attempting plank, hold for a few seconds only. Over time, build up to a couple of minutes or even more.

Steppin' Out is very proud to have been the drop-off site for a special donations event coordinated by one of our community members, the Stemmer family. The event allowed San Francisco families to fulfill the holiday wish lists of Santa Rosa fire survivors. During the event, the studio was full of presents and generous donations reached 26 families over the holidays. This month's cover photo highlights this wonderful event. Thank you so much to the Stemmer family and to everyone who donated. 

Your stuff misses you! The Steppin' Out Lost & Found basket (located on the middle shelf above the shoe bin in the back studio) is overflowing. Unclaimed items will be donated at the end of the month, so please come grab your stuff.

Winter Camp + Steppin' Out December News

Happy holidays! In the spirit of winter, we're excited to announce that we started our holiday choreography this week. The collection of nutcrackers have come out to dance with your children--they are always a hit with the little ones. Our teen dancers are also enjoying choreography to some new original holiday music by Sia (one of their--and our--favorites). Holiday choreography is always fun, but its real purpose is to help prepare our dancers for spring semester, when they will begin to work on dances for the annual Steppin' Out performance. (Spring semester starts in February this year; see "Holiday Recess" for more information.)

Steppin' Out will be closed for regular classes from December 22nd through January 5th. But please don't forget to come back to class beginning January 6th!. Fall classes continue through Jan 31st. We'll send you more information on how to register for spring semester after the break (continuing families always retain their spots).

It's winter and that means...Winter Camp! Steppin' Out offers a super flexible, fun, and enriching option for kids to enjoy winter break. Whether you need coverage the whole break or just for a day here or there, we've got you covered. Come take advantage of our magical winter days packed full of delightful, age-appropriate activities and surprises. Register now or learn more on our Winter Camp page.

The holiday season can be a very exciting time, but sometimes that excitement can be too much, even for adults. Teach your dancers good skills in the face of stress by practicing deep breathing together. Have your dancer use his body to demonstrate the expansive feeling of a deep inhale, followed by the contracted feeling of a full exhale. He can start in a little ball on the floor and then extend his whole body tall and stretched, or he can make up his own original dance move to show the flow of breath in his body. You'll be practicing creativity, movement, breathing, and relaxation all in one.

It's time for our annual "nutcracker" reminder! During this time of year, many families choose to see this classic holiday ballet performed live. While there are many excellent options in the Bay Area, here are a few of our favorites:

The classic, featuring breathtaking performances and spectacular sets: 
San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker

The 50-minute version, perfect for the younger crowd:
Mark Foehringer's Nutcracker Sweets

The whimsical, audience-participation option:
Dance Along Nutcracker: Nutcrackers of the Caribbean


Dancers need a warm layer leaving the studio during the winter even if they might feel warm right after class. Encouraging them to pick their favorite jackets to bring to class may decrease the post-class "layering" battles.

Thanksgiving Closure + Steppin' Out November News

November is here and with it comes an important reminder--the studio is closed the week of Thanksgiving. We will be open on Saturday, November 18th, but closed after that. Please make a note that no classes will be held from 11/21 through 11/25 (all classes have been priced accordingly). Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving break and come back ready to continue working on new steps while improving technique.

Learning tap improves coordination and rhythm and is lots of fun. And remember that you don't need tap shoes to practice tap moves. Flap ball change is a classic tap move that creates two different sound qualities. Here's how to practice it: Start with flapping, a two-sound move, which involves brushing one foot forward and then stepping down on that same foot with the ball of the foot only. Then move to ball change, which means changing weight from one foot to the other. Putting the two moves together means brushing one foot forward, stepping on its ball (forward), stepping on its ball (backward), and then stepping on the other foot. Once your dancer has mastered the move on both sides, try varying the tempo from slow to super fast.

The rainy season is around the corner. Schedule a dry birthday party just the way you want it. We offer fabulous and fun movement-themed birthday parties of any kind, from basic to turn-key, at can't-be-beat pricing. Reserve your party now--parties fill up fast when the weather's wet.

This may be the one and only time we showcase football in our dance studio newsletter, but we think checking out the The Dancing Jets Defense Has Taken Over the Internet might make you smile.

As the weather gets colder, leg warmers or yoga pants are great alternatives to thin tights.

Happy Halloween + October News + The Mystery of Two Left Feet

We love October, and not just because we get to see all the dancers in costume. We also love giving dancers a chance to practice learning a small piece of choreography (whether about pumpkins or witches or broomsticks), so that when spring session comes they'll be more prepared to learn their performance routines.

Dancers are invited to wear costumes to class during the week of October 24th through October 28th. Please do be aware that Tuesday students will not have class on Tuesday, October 31st (Halloween). We have already accommodated for that holiday in your fall session schedule and pricing, so go enjoy the festivities.

In the spirit of Halloween and our "oh so fall" photo, why not practice wheelbarrows with your child at home. Just hold onto his legs between the knee and ankle as he "walks on his hands." Wheelbarrows aren't just fun (and seasonally appropriate), they also improve shoulder and arm muscles all the way down to the smallest muscles in children's wrists, which helps to develops the strength young children will later need to write.

Returning dancers! Please check the jazz shoes that went home with you after the performance this past spring. One of our teen dancers ended up with two right foot jazz shoes (sizes 7 and 9). If you have the two left, please contact Angela, who will arrange the switch.

Teacher Sonja's dance company, Liss Fain Dance, is sponsoring a free dance/creative writing workshop for students ages 8-12 at 826 Valencia on October 21st from 3-5 p.m. Dancers will write a story and bring it to life with movement. Interested? Register here!

Dehydrated dancers? Give your child a cup of water first thing--and while you're at it, drink one yourself.

It's Time + September News

It's time! The studio is open for fall semester today. We can't wait to see you this week.

Please read on for an announcement about our new teacher, some ideas about the drop off policy, movement of the month, tips, and more.

Steppin' Out is so excited to welcome our new ballet teacher, Sonja Dale. A classically-trained ballerina, Sonja currently teaches at the Orinda Academy of Ballet and the Professional Ballet School. Sonja has performed with acclaimed Bay Area companies including ODC/Dance and The Mark Foehringer Dance Project, and taught for Shawl-Anderson Modern Dance Center and the Menlo Park Academy of Dance, among others. You can read more about Sonja's background on our website. Sonja will be teaching the ballet portion of pre-teen/teen Ballet/Tap/Jazz Intermediate II/III from 5-6:30 on Wednesdays as well as Advanced Teen Ballet from 6-7 p.m. that same day.

You can learn more about all of our 2017-18 teachers here.

Want to add a class? Have a friend who wants to dance? We still have room in a few classes. Register here or get more information about our classestuition and policies, or teaching staff.

The following classes still have spots--pass it on!

  • Tuesday 3-4 p.m.: Tap/Pre-ballet/tumbling ages 3-4 with teachers Angela Rose Dorantes & Dora Donovan
  • Tuesday 4-5 p.m.: Tap/Ballet Beginning II ages 6-8 with teachers Angela Rose Dorantes & Dora Donovan
  • Wednesday 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Tap/Pre-ballet/Tumbling ages 3-5 with teacher Angela Rose Dorantes

As we start the semester, please review our class policies. We encourage parents of dancers ages seven and older to please drop off their child rather than staying to observe (at least after the initial transition is complete). Dancers younger than seven may be dropped off too, depending on the comfort level of parent and child.

What can you do in one hour while your dancer is taking class?

* Take younger siblings to the new Chan Kaajal parkaround the corner on 17th and Shotwell!
* Stop into Gus's Market to get some grocery shopping done or grab a healthy snack
* Get your car washed at Auto City Car Wash
* Meet a friend (or another parent in class) at the Stable Cafe 
* Grab a coffee at Linea
* Head to the Flying Pig for board games and sandwiches
* Explore the relatively new Tartine Manufactory(before the lines get too long) or the nearby Heath Ceramics
* Grab some tacos at Mateo's 
* Window shop on Valencia Street

The side step is a building block of many hip hop routines that anyone can do--even parents! An easy way to get the rhythm of this step is to clap each time the legs come together. Start by stepping the right leg out and bending the knees. Then bring the left leg in to meet the right and clap your hands together. Remind your dancers to use inner thigh adduction to bring their legs together! Then repeat on the left. Once you have the basic step down, vary the speed, stepping quickly or slowly or mixing speeds together.

Submitted by a Steppin' Out community member, this month's featured article highlights a recent study of dancer's brains by two American universities. Find out how your dancer's brain might be developing.

Younger dancers who might be nervous beginning classes for the first time will benefit if you pack their bags with them in advance. As you assemble water bottles, shoes, sweaters, and special objects, have a fun chat about what to expect--it will pay off later.