Inspire Your Passion & Talent

At Cleveland’s Premier Dance School

Classes at Cleveland
City Dance

For over 50 years, generations of dancers across Cleveland, OH, have pirouetted, glided, and risen their way to confidence, poise, and excellence at Cleveland City Dance.

Offering a variety of professionally taught dance classes for students of all ages, our dance school has always served as a home for dancers to spread their wings and nurture their passion and talent.

Classes in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance

Whether you’re seeking a career in dance or are looking to build confidence & lifelong friendships, we welcome you to Cleveland City Dance!

Call 216-295-2222 to Enroll

Meet Our Instructors

Dance Programs for
Children, Teens, & Adults

Students find encouragement, inspiration, and support through instruction by dedicated and passionate teaching professionals. Each student is placed appropriately, based on ability, to achieve their personal best.

Explore a dance style that’s perfect for you and make lifelong friendships along the way!

Dance Programs for
Children, Teens, & Adults

Students find encouragement, inspiration, and support through instruction by dedicated and passionate teaching professionals. Each student is placed appropriately, based on ability, to achieve their personal best.

Explore a dance style that’s perfect for you and make lifelong friendships along the way!


Experience the light, grace, and fluidity of Classical Ballet. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced ballerina, our professional instructors are ready to help you perfect the techniques of this timeless art form.

We also offer ballet classes for boys. The strengthening principles learned with formal instruction can help young boys excel in recreational or team sports, in addition to the benefits of focus ability.


Jazz Dance combines the elegant elements of ballet and the rhythm of tap in this dynamic and passionate style of dance. Inspired by street dance and Broadway techniques, Jazz will help you master theatrical technique, acting, and movement.


In Modern Dance, get ready to explore the body’s basic movement impulses and breathe, leap, and hop your way to rhythmic, spatial, and performance excellence. Modern Dance can help you nurture and enhance your strength, flexibility, and inner motivation for movement.


Tap gives every student the ability to focus on movement and sound as they practice and master precise and dynamic footwork. This is All-American style of dance is enjoyable for children and adults alike.


Evolving from street dance, Hip Hop intertwines the elements of jazz and tap styles of dance. Energetic, fun, and fast-paced, students enjoy learning the fundamentals and mastering hip-hop techniques in the process.


Looking to build your core strength, improve your flexibility, and lengthen your muscles? Conditioning can help you develop a healthy awareness of your posture, body movements, and breath through resistance training. Based on Pilates, this program can produce the same results as those who take ballet classes consistently.

Helpful Articles

Cleveland City Dance is committed to helping our students immerse themselves in the world of dance and thrive as they achieve personal new heights. We’ve provided a series of articles to help students and families discover more about the journey to becoming a dancer!

Twirling Tots &
Young Dancer Camp

Want to enroll your child in our Twirling Tots & Young Dancer Camp? Read more about what our rewarding dance camp programs have to offer!

Dancer FAQ

Below we’ve provided information to help our students and families learn more about our dance school and what to expect. If you don’t see an answer to a specific question, get in touch with us today!

What ages does Cleveland City Dance teach?

Cleveland City Dance has some students starting their dance education as early as 3. Some dancers continue taking classes into their 80s. See class level descriptions for further information.

How can I register?

For students under 9 years of age, no audition is required. For dancers without previous experience, please contact the studio 216-295-2222 for assistance in registering for the appropriate classes. Auditions are held during the summer for dancers with previous experience ages 9 and older wishing to enroll for the start of the academic season. All registration is online via the JackRabbit Dance platform.

How can I receive a current or future brochure mailed to me?

Cleveland City Dance is environmentally friendly, so our information is frequently updated on the website. We can also email information directly to you including schedules and more.

What benefits does dance offer mentally and physically?

Early exposure to dance helps children develop confidence, good posture, listening skills, coordination, strength, and balance while also growing lifelong friendships. Structured dance develops personal, physical, emotional, and social lessons. This includes coordination, strength, gross motor skills, poise and posture while also improving cognitive skills, critical thinking, focus, rhythm, and is creativity beneficial for academics.

Through dance education, one learns life lessons including discipline, focus on listening and thinking, and having the ability, confidence, and initiative to complete a task.

Classes also help build confidence, self-esteem, etiquette, social skills, and discipline that will be carried throughout many aspects of life. All the hard work and practice culminate in the end of year presentations to give all students a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Will a beginning teenager or adult be placed in class with young children?

No, however we do offer teen/adult classes so all our students can enjoy a comfortable dance environment and learn dance technique at their pace. We offer teen/adult beginning ballet, adult beginning ballet, adult ballet I, II, and III, teen/adult tap, teen/adult jazz, and teen/adult modern, and teen/adult hip-hop. Teens and adults should consult their instructors for recommendations on additional class options as well as when the appropriate time would be to move up a level. Some classes do have pre-requisites such as being at a Ballet II for Pointe and Ballet II and Jazz II for Lyrical. Lyrical also requires an older student’s maturity.

Can I just drop into a class when it is convenient?

You may drop into a class for $25, however if the class is at its capacity for students, you will not be allowed to take class on that day. You are required to register in-advance and should call ahead 216-295-2222 for a drop-in class to confirm the class availability. We only allow two drop-ins for the year. We ask you to enroll for consistency in training and so you can progress. A class card is also an option for adult students past the beginner levels.

Will you start a new class if other classes are filled or if we have a group needing a different time?

We will attempt to fill the desired need based on availability of studio time and having the appropriate teacher available.

I see you have a weekly Level II-V morning ballet class from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (this is an intermediate level). Does that class include professionals? May I take the class and what level is taught?

Yes, if you are an intermediate level (Level II at Cleveland City Dance) to advanced dancer. It frequently includes area professional dancers and visiting artists. The teachers prepare a class to warm-up all participants and to challenge the professionals. For the intermediate students, this is a rewarding way to challenge oneself and be inspired by observing professional dancers in class.

Do you limit the size of classes?

Yes, classes at CCD vary in sizes from 4-20 students. Some of our younger children’s classes also have an assistant. We will close classes to ensure students receive personal attention and do not feel overwhelmed in a crowd. During the 2020-2022 pandemic this is limited with social distancing protocols. See Protocols.

What is modern dance?

Modern dance emphasizes the exploration of our most basic movement impulses, such as breathing, walking, running, hopping, and leaping. Students will develop the means for individual expression and seek inner motivation for movement. Through floor work exercises and movements across the floor, students will improve flexibility and strength in the hips and core muscles while exploring rhythmic, spatial and performance challenges. Students may begin in Children’s Modern at age 7.

Why is ballet recommended for jazz and modern dancers?

Jazz and modern dance have their roots in ballet. Ballet is the base for all classical theater performance styles of dance which incorporate the language, movements, and technical steps. This can enhance a person’s performance including how one carries oneself on stage and build more strength.

Why is jazz recommended for hip-hop dancers?

Jazz helps to enhance your upper body and arms coordination and movement, which is essential for balance and finesse. Jazz technique is also used in theater choreography, concert stage performance as seen in music videos and award shows.

How do I know what courses are appropriate for me to enroll in when I arrive?

Please call us to schedule a trial/evaluation class for dancers with previous experience, ages 9 and older. We can assist you with proper placement through a conversation with you prior to your arrival at the studio. A student’s age and experience are always helpful guides. If you have previous experience and do not make it to a trial/evaluation class prior to the start of a session, your first class will be an evaluation class so we can place you where you will be both comfortable and challenged. If you have prior experience and it is your first time at the studio, we will recommend taking a placement class that is lower for the following reasons: you may be unfamiliar with a teacher’s style, classes may be harder than what you are accustomed to and you might want to acclimate yourself to new surroundings. Other studios’ syllabuses are not identical to CCD nor are the class level names the same.

If you have not danced in many years, you will want to reintroduce your body and muscles slowly. Please consult us regarding the appropriate level for your evaluation.

What is the difference between preschool ballet, pre-ballet, and beginning ballet?

These classes are for our younger students and introduce them to music, dance, and basic ballet vocabulary and classroom etiquette while continuing to grow their imagination. A student should enroll in a class based on the student’s age by September 1st of the academic school year. Preschool ballet is for ages 3-5; while pre-ballet is for ages 5-7; and beginning ballet is for ages 6-9. Students stay in the same level for one to two full academic years, based on their gross motor skill development, focus, and maturity.

No trial/evaluation class is required.

How does one make-up a class?

You can take a class of the same level for which you missed. For example: If you missed your Beginning Ballet class you may take another Beginning Ballet on another day or a Beginning Jazz, Beginning Modern… please speak with your teacher for recommendation and call the front office for availability. A make-up class can also be taken virtually.

How can a dancer join the City Ballet of Cleveland?

We hold annual auditions in the spring. The dancers need to be an intermediate ballet level and at least 10 years of age. The dancers need to be an intermediate ballet level and at least ten years of age. The company has an apprentice level for those not at the intermediate level but interested in dancing more to build strength and self-confidence and to have other performing opportunities throughout the year.

Please visit the City Ballet of Cleveland for more information.

Do you offer private lessons?

Yes, we do offer private classes especially for students wishing to catch up to their peers’ level or wishing to have private coaching/training for a special performance or audition. Teachers will set their fee, which includes the cost for using the studio space. ourly prices start at $65 and go up to $100. Semi-privates are an additional $10 per student.

Privates are based on studio and teacher availability.

Why is there a dress code?

The dress code allows students to feel a sense of community, while being an individual in a team. This allows for fewer distractions so students can focus on their technique and stand out for their artistry and dancing.

Where do I park?

You have two options. The south parking lot off Drexmore Rd. is available for free. We also have a back entrance with a purple awning so you can come directly in versus walking around to the front via Dave’s. The front entrance on the square does have metered parking, only quarters can be used.

When does CCD accept new registration?

We have three sessions at CCD. The Academic School year September through the end of May and two Summer sessions. Current students enroll during the Spring prior to the upcoming Fall academic school year. CCD holds auditions for new students as well as allowing students to take a trial class during the sessions for class placement. See registration process. You do want to register early as many classes fill to capacity before the start of the session.

Fall session (September through May) Early registration begins in April.
Summer session (June through mid-August). Early registration begins in March.

Can I enroll once a session has begun? What is the cut off date for registration?

Yes, we will place you in the appropriate class based on experience and age. However, we do suggest students begin at the start of a session as classes progress throughout the academic school year. Yes, there is a cut-off date for registration, however we will try to accommodate students based on availability. In 2020, we added the virtual classes option for those who wish to take class from home and when out of state.

Do you have boys in classes? Yes, currently we have boys ages 3 to 17.

They are currently enrolled in Boys’ ballet, jazz, modern, tap and hip-hop. See 10 Reasons Why All Boys Should Dance.

It is not uncommon to have a few boys in dance classes. If you are concerned about your son being the only boy, sometimes it helps to have them ask a friend to join them to try the class together. We offer a boys’ only ballet class on Fridays for ages 7-16 during the school year and the summer including a boys’ only conditioning class.

Ballet originally began as a masculine art incorporating skills from fencing. Ballet skills and muscular development can be very supportive for sports. Dance also offers boys a sense of accomplishment, so they stand out from the crowd. Ballet is more difficult than competitive sports in that the strength must be concealed to appear effortless. Dance enables boys to increase their coordination and athletic strength for sports. For example, in basketball, the leg strength generated from dance offers greater power to jump higher to reach the basketball hoop. The agility from petite allegro (fast footwork) increases speed required in all sports, especially to change one’s direction on the field.

Will I be the oldest in class?

Some courses for the younger classes are age specific. (Adults are not allowed to take children’s classes for ages 3-12.) Others will have a variety of ages based on physical preparedness and mental maturity. We place students so they will be able to continually work the basics as well as challenge themselves. If a student is placed in a level that is too advanced, they run the risk of injury as well as frustration, nor will they be strong enough for the strenuous nature of the level.

Can I take a free trial class?

We do not offer a free trial class. There is a trial rate fee of $20. We will apply the $20 toward your semester’s tuition if you register that day or within one week after taking the trial class only. For some young students, it takes 4 –8 classes to become acclimated to the studio environment and make new friends.

Will you start a “waiting list” and how does that work?

Yes, we do have a waiting list for full classes. If classes do not have four registered students, one week prior to the semester the class will be canceled. Four people need to be registered for the entire semester for a class to begin. This enables Cleveland City Dance to guarantee the teacher a class. Starting in 2020 we began offering live streaming for all classes so you may train at home as well.

What if I do not see what I am looking for on your schedule?

We can start a waiting list and then see if we have a teacher and a convenient studio time available. The class will begin once we have at least four people registered.

May I observe class before enrolling?

Yes, we do have viewing windows for classes. Cleveland City Dance limits in-studio observation especially for our younger classes so as not to distract students during their class time. We have parent observation several times a year and the final week of the summer semester. During observation week students invite their families to sit in on class and get to know the teacher more. During the 2020-2022 pandemic this is limited with social distancing protocols for viewings to be virtual.

Please see our school calendars:

June 7‒26 2021 Summer Class Schedule 
July‒August 2021 Session 2 
September‒May 2021 Class Schedule 
Calendar 2021‒2022 

Once my child enrolls, am I allowed to watch them during class?

Of course, the viewing windows are always open. During the 2020-2022 pandemic this is limited with social distancing protocols for viewings to be virtual. Cleveland City Dance limits in-studio observation especially for our younger classes so as not to distract students during their class time. We have parent observation several times a year and the final week of the summer semester. During observation week students invite their families to sit in on class and get to know the teacher more. Please see our school calendar.

What do you recommend for my child who is not interested in ballet?

If your child has a great amount of energy and enjoys moving, we recommend several other options. There is Jazz & Tap Combo for 3-5-year-olds; beginning jazz and beginning tap for 6 years and up; or beginning hip-hop for students 7 and up. These classes are fun with energetic music and offer a great cardiovascular workout. Many children develop enjoyment for ballet, as they get older and want to build more strength and or aspire toward a career in dance.

What is jazz dance?

Jazz is based on the technique styles seen on Broadway and in the LA scene. The training is based on growing from a strong ballet background emphasizing dynamic movements and passion. Jazz incorporates strong passionate acting skills. Jazz warm-up is without a ballet barre incorporating some familiar terminology from ballet in parallel emphasizing isolations, core strength and flexibility. Students may start Beginning Jazz at age 6.

What type of hip-hop do you teach?

Hip-Hop adds urban moves to jazz technique in an energetic fast-paced setting as seen in music videos and on the live concert circuit incorporating acting with more “attitude”. Students will learn fundamentals and strengthening techniques such as body isolations, breaks and dynamic moves. One technique we do not teach is the aggressive “krumping” style. Students may start Beginning Hip-Hop at age 7.

Why is ballet recommended for tap dancers?

Ballet helps to enhance your upper body and arms movement, which is essential to develop proper alignment, balance, and finesse. Ballet steps are used in tap as well.

How can I be certain my child is placed in the appropriate class level?

For dancers ages 9 and up with previous experience it is best to attend a trial/evaluation class prior to the start of a session for appropriate placement. When students enter class at the beginning of a session, they are evaluated for class placement to ascertain where best to place a dancer to be challenged and grow as an individual while also promoting the development of self-esteem. Please be assured that all our students’ progress is evaluated throughout the year. If a class change is needed, we will notify you of the necessary change within two weeks of the academic school year. Physical strength, maturity, focus, and discipline are considered when evaluating students. Our teachers are very experienced in what is necessary to progress from one level to the next. We take your child’s best interest to heart.

It is rare that a child is not mature and focused enough to participate in a structured classroom environment. If a child is unwilling or unable to participate in the group setting, or is distracting the class, we will speak with the parents to see if some activities can be implemented at home to assist their child.

When will I know it is time to progress to the next level?

Many students will remain in a class level for two to three (2-3) years. The studio has evaluations at the end of each session for the Upper Division.

The lower-level students receive an evaluation prior to the end of school. This includes preschool ballet, pre-ballet, beginning ballet, and jazz & tap combo.

Summer students are evaluated at the end of the summer term. Typically, the lower-level students will continue in the same level from summer to fall. Upper-level students can grow quickly in the summer due to the accelerated program and will be placed accordingly.

You may request a conference with the teacher and director after the evaluations should you have any concerns or questions.

Is there a performance at the end of the academic school year?

Yes, we have three shows. The younger children ages 3-7 dance in an intimate setting at the school. The annual Studio Spring Concert for the Upper Division has two shows, and the City Ballet of Cleveland show is in May at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts.

The lower-level classes, which include preschool ballet, pre-ballet, and jazz & tap combo, have free performances in May at the studio in an intimate and non-stressful setting. The Company performs for the students for free at the end of class presentation with a story ballet such as Alice in Wonderland and Peter & the Wolf.

There is no performance at the end of the summer semester. The Level I , Level II and the Intermediate/Advance camp do have an opportunity to perform at the Saturday Open house at the end of the summer.

My child is serious about a career in dance. What do you recommend?

You will want to speak with the Director of CCD, Courtney Laves-Mearini, in person. Once your dancer has been evaluated, we can discuss an accelerated program that’s appropriate for their desired career path, whether it is professional ballet, jazz, modern, musical theater, college, dancing for the cruise lines, or other commercial work. Ballet is the basis for many of the dance art forms and should be considered even for those wishing to pursue musical theater.

Auditioning for the City Ballet of Cleveland, a501 (c) 3 non-profit ballet company, is an option for those who want the opportunity to perform with more frequency and are ready to devote more time to serious training involving additional weekly rehearsals.

What are the policies at CCD?

We have extensive financial, dress code, and studio general policies. They are here on our website along with the annual calendar which are distributed at time of registration. Beginning in 2020 we have COVID-19 social distance protocols.

Can I purchase a class card and how does that work?

10-class cards are for adults only. These cards cannot be used for beginning level classes, as consistency in classes is the key to progression and we do limit the class size. We recognize the need for flexibility with family and work schedules; however, a class card does not register you for a class nor hold your space in a class. Class cardholders will not be able to take a closed/full class. A class will be cancelled if there is NOT a minimum of four (4) individuals registered for the entire semester.

  • Class cards expire six months from date of purchase.
  • Class card students must sign-in prior to taking each class.
  • Semester discounts do not apply to class cards.
  • There are no refunds for unused class cards.

Do you teach social dances such as ballroom, tango, or salsa?

No, we do not offer ballroom, tango, or salsa dance classes. A Flamenco teacher is renting studio space at Cleveland City Dance for the 2021-2022 session.
Class schedules  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance

Class Schedules

Cleveland City Dance is now hybrid! Please take a look at our in-person and virtual program schedules for the 2021 dance year and reach out to us if you have any questions.

School policies  in Cleveland, OH ❘ Cleveland City Dance

School Policies

We encourage new students and their families to have a look at our policies and to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Inclement Weather

In case of inclement weather, please call the studio line 216-295-2222. If you gave your email address at registration, we will send out timely notices when possible.

If the Shaker Heights schools are closed, the classes prior to 3:00 PM will be canceled. Evening classes will be determined by road conditions and weather reports. Please call the studio line for updates.

As always we ask for parents and students to use their best judgment, as your safety is our chief concern during these times. For class make-up information, please refer to the CCD make-up policy.

We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at 216-295-2222 today!

Cleveland City Dance

9:00 AM ‒ 1:00 PM
4:15 PM ‒ 9:00 PM

10:00 AM ‒ 1:00 PM
4:30 PM ‒ 7:30 PM

9:00 AM ‒ 2:30 PM
13108 Shaker Square
Cleveland, OH 44120