Ballroom Dance > LA/OC dance studios (2013 edition)

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Largest Studios in LA:
    Vivo in Hacienda Heights (kind of closed but many quarter and semi finalist level competitors there, and the Suvurovs often coach there
    Regency in Lomita (Glenn Weiss and Victor Veyrasset among others teach here)
    Westmor in Koreatown (so much talent has passed through these doors since the 70s. Older now but still great place and Koreatown is getting a little better now)
    Star in Monterrey Park (Chinese)

    Other LA studios:
    Best in Hacienda Heights (Chinese)
    Nadia's Rhythm Room in Sherman Oaks (Nadia Eftedal, Charlotta Jorgensen)
    Lai Lai in Alhambra (Chinese)
    Sloan in Glendale (Ken Sloan)
    By Your Side in Culver City
    LA Dance Experience in Westwood
    You Can Dance in Hermosa Beach (Jonathan Roberts)
    Celebration Ballroom in Woodland Hills
    Pasadena Dance Association - Erin and Tami Stevens, mostly Lindy but ballroom too
    Premier Ballroom in San Dimas

    OC Studios:
    Club One (owned by the Fung family, ex. Victor and Tiffany there)
    Avant Garde (small but lots of people come through like Julia and Ricardo, Donnie Burns, Maria Hansen)
    Atomic (known for its Lindy Hoppers but also has ballroom)
    Londance in Aliso Viejo
    Sway also Laguna Hills
    Southcoast (Heather Smith sometimes coaches there)
    Fullerton Dance Sport in Fullerton (Stuart Cole, one of the biggest in OC but this is North OC so almost LA)
    Danscene in Costa Mesa

    No way I completely covered everything. Feel free to add on. I don't know the Valley or even West LA that well, nor what is out toward San Bernadino.

    People tend to stay in a region of LA because the city is huge. The main reason people tend to stay at a particular area is travel time. It can take over an hour to travel 30 miles and LA/OC is a huge area. That said, I know some teachers that will have 2-3 different areas that are 45 minutes or more apart, but consistently work the same days each week. That includes top coaches.

    OC right now is characterized by MANY small studios. As a result you see a few instructors in each that tend to mostly stay in one place. Generally, there really aren't any big studios or social events where independent instructors and students can meet, and as a result you mostly see already established instructors working in these places. There are some closed type studios where there are newer instructors but where in some way they have a little tighter grip on their instructors. There used to be some bigger studios but in the last few years a particular big studio had many of the instructors go out on their own and start other smaller studios.

    LA is a little more free and independent feeling and you see more instructors moving around within the city. Traffic in LA is worse than OC so that adds more complexity. You'll see one group that is more West of the city and one more East, and then there is the valley up North. However, lots happens in the middle (ex. Westmor in Korea Town).

    One thing I also found is tools like Google maps or even available website just don't provide an adequate picture of what is out there. You have to go out and discover for yourself. For example, there are a number of studios that don't have websites, or studio websites that are in another language, but have plenty of English speaking clientele. Some studios are very nice but in less desirable part of town. Some are very small but in a nicer part of town.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
    Terpsichorean Clod likes this.
  2. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    you got most of the ones in the SGV & OC.

    i'd mention:

    - jonathan robert's studio in hermosa beach (you can dance) (south bay)

    - LA dance experience in westwood. (west side)

    - by your side studio in culver city (west side)

    artemi okunev (semi finalist on so you think you can dance, and a great choice for latin IMO) teaches at hollywood dance academy in van nuys in the SFV, not to be confused with hollywood dance center where michael kuka teaches (actually in hollywood on highland). hollywood dance academy in van nuys has a rival directly across the street called dance dance revolution. i don't think much of the management there but YMMV.

    IIRC one of cheryl burke's chain is in south laguna hills.

    alicia richardson moved to LA after her divorce from her husband with whom she used to compete and was teaching here in LA but is now recuperating from some medical issues and is just starting to dance again (and is remarried to a non-dancer IIRC), with someone who up until recently had a studio in woodland hills (wiley simpson - celebration ballroom). wiley is still teaching his classes somewhere in the west valley but i couldn't tell you where.

    michael donovan runs a weekly dance at the granada pavilion in granada hills and teaches out of the moose lodge in glendale IIRC.

    i'd hesitate to include PBDA for ballroom. i rate them about the same as walk in dance out in the south bay.

    and there are a number of FA/AM franchise studios including one in pasadena, one in van nuys, and at least one other (i know some folks who teach there but can't remember where).

    almost forgot ballroom blitz in eagle rock. susannah cuesta.
    Terpsichorean Clod likes this.
  3. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Moderator

  4. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Thank you for the additions. I'll try to keep the list updated. I'm trying to stick to studios now, but may add weekly dances later. And true about Cheryl Burke closing. The previous manager opened up his own school with his wife and it is called Sway which is on the list.
  5. Debra

    Debra Member

    There is Edelweiss Premier Ballroom in San Dimas (SGV) owned by Alexander & Alla Novikov. The focus is on competition dancers, but they are developing a social dance scene as well.
    3wishes likes this.
  6. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    As well, Edelweiss has a floating hardwood floor which is simply divine to dance on! wink and nod to Debra.
  7. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I probably should separate the list a little into San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando, South Bay, etc
  8. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

  9. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    they can try, but with that small a dance floor; one couple exercising bad floorcraft would block LOD for everybody on the floor and no one not affiliated with the studio is likely to show up.
  10. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I saw there was a Northstar studio with Johan Eftedal there as well. Never been. Any feedback?
  11. Debra

    Debra Member

    I don't dance socially so I can't speak to that aspect. I was simply posting the information of the studio so anyone who wants to can check it out for themselves.
  12. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I've seen small studios run successful parties. They are just smaller. I haven't been to that floor, but hopefully will this year still. I'm a little curious about Sloan and Sloan and if that is a good place to practice.
  13. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    I go to the Atomic for ballroom. The floor is ok, but the studio itself could use a makeover. It's not bad, just looking a little run down. Some people say it's hard to find since it's in an office park.
  14. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I like Atomic. It is very much a "social" studio. Lots of salsa and swing. The owners were Lindy Hop champions. The cool thing about Atomic is you can dance there 7 nights per week, and there aren't too many places in OC you can do that. In LA there are lots of places with social dancing every night.
  15. frotes

    frotes Member

    Century Dancesport in Tustin, OC. Studio atmosphere is similar to londance and sway, all the teachers are pros or ex pros, and they have top coaches that come in periodically.

    The Granada LA, in Alhambra. Regular salsa and bachata parties and ballroom on the other days. Owned by Kristy Rivers, Ray Rivers daughter.

    Another studio that opened up last year in Fountain Valley, OC called Dance All You Can. Haven't been there yet but it's owned by Oleg and Tatiana
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
    DanceMentor likes this.
  16. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    That would explain the emphasis on the Lindy-memorabilia.
    DanceMentor likes this.

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