Children are natural dancers. They dance with imagination all the time. My mission is for these young dancers to develop their own identity and creativity through movement (dance). If they find themselves loving dance, they will find self-confidence and self-esteem in their own way and in their own time. For this mission I have created a method using three different types of dances. They include Creative Movement, Ballet and Modern dance.
- Takami Craddock (DancEsteem Director)

Why These Types of Dance?

Creative Movement techniques help children to discover body awareness and movement vocabular by themselves. I let them improvise using many suggestive images and also let them create their own images to dance to. They will learn that we are all different in very special ways. We often work as a group so that they have an opportunity to collaborate and share creativity. In this section, we watch and critique each other. This way the children are able to develop a thought process in observing dance.

Ballet is always a basic foundation of any kind of dance. We learn the fundamentals of body awareness and the body line at the bar lesson.

Modern Dance technique brings more dynamics, muscular movement and steps into the movement.

photo by Andy Mogg

These techniques are combined in appropriate amounts for each age group. We also add breathing exercise into each class. I believe that students who take my class will have a fundamental appreciation and basic training for any kind of dance in the future. One of my respected artist friends once told me that each of us has a clock that rings when it's ready. I believe that each of us will bloom when it is our time. My mission is to lead them to blossom in their onw way at that special time.

Special Exchange Program

DancEsteem has started an exchange program between Sanae Hara Dance Academy, in Shizuoka Japan since 2004. Students from America and Japan perform at each other's annual performance. This year 8 students of the program and their family went to Japan to participate. This program's goal is to provide an opportunity for students to experience other cultures through dance. This program is offered to all students who are committed to dance and work hard (above 4th grade and more than 3 years of participation in the program with advanced classes required).

DancEsteem in Action!

photo by Andy Mogg

Basic Rules

New Students: The first and second classes are tryout classes that you can pay by individual class fee. After you decide to enroll in the program the remainder of the semester fee is due. After you have enrolled in the class there are no fee refunds.

Dress Code: You can wear any type of leotard in any color, but not tutu's. If the student wants to put on a skirt, it has to be a simple and soft material that will not be in the way of dancing. Ballet slippers are optional. If your child has long hair, please tie a bun or ponytail.

Performance: DancEsteem produces one annual performance. The date and place is tentative, but has usually been the first weekend of May at the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason. Participation in the performance is not mandatory. If you wish not to participate in the performance, you need to let the director know as soon as possible after you have enrolled in the program. We collect performance fees every year reflected by the scale of the production. This cost shares the cost of production. Also separate costume fee will be collected near the time of the performance. If you need to know about more details of the fee, please contact the director.