Dance Arts Center (DAC) was founded in 1970 by Berle Davis and his sister, Fran Davis. They ran the first studio in San Mateo located at the Crystal Springs Shopping Center, until 1975 when Jayne and Harry Zaban joined as co-owners. When the studio had outgrown the first location, we relocated to Foster City at the Marlin Cove Shopping Center where the faculty concentrated heavily on Ballet, Jazz, and Tap technique, using Jayne's background with the Atlanta Ballet Company and Berle's background performing works of great choreographers like Gower Champion and Jerome Robbins and studying with Tap Master Stanley Kahn, a method we continue to use to this day.
The studio was again relocated in 1986 to Fiesta Gardens School where it would stay for the next 12 years. The school continued to flourish at this space, developing a reputation around a heavy focus on technique as opposed to the growing popularity of recitals and competitions. At this time the DAC also held classes for well-known sports teams like the San Francisco 49ers, to train them to be stronger and more stable and to prevent injuries.
After this time the studio continued to grow and develop until we settled on our space in San Carlos. DAC spent many years there, continuing to train a majority of the dancers performing in the area. At this time Berle was the Resident Choreographer for Peninsula Civic Light Opera, before they changed their name to Broadway By the Bay. Jayne had also been choreographing throughout the Bay Area, creating works for 42nd Street Moon, Lamplighters, Broadway By the Bay, Hillbarn Theatre, Diablo Theatre Company, New Conservatory Theatre, and many others. Our presence continued to grow in theaters, dance companies, and schools in the area.
Now we have our wonderful studios in Redwood City at 2601 Spring Street. We have a wonderful staff of 15, all with various professional performing backgrounds across the country. Our class roster has grown from Ballet, Jazz, and Tap to a large curriculum of classes like Flexibility Enhancement & Core, Tumbling for Dancers, Hip Hop, Modern, Jumps & Turns, and many more. We have a wonderful program called S.N.A.P.! which began 10 years ago as a way to bring musical theater to children with special needs. It also provides a program for young adults. It has blossomed into a multi-leveled program with over 30 students of varying abilities and 34 "buddies" who aide in their growth and development.
A vast majority of our students (and even our teachers!) have gone on to dance and act on Broadway, in touring companies, in ballet companies, regional theater companies, and to teach, using the skills and discipline they learned from their time spent at DAC. We place such a strong emphasis on proper technique and discipline at our school. We not only teach our students how to dance, but how to think critically, how to present themselves properly at auditions or while being active in the dance world, and how to awaken their own inner artistry. We pride ourselves in creating a wonderfully supportive environment where our students feel safe to explore, test, and push their own boundaries. Whether you are a seasoned Broadway veteran, a beginner with the goal of joining a ballet company, or dancing just for the sheer joy of it, we are confident you will find a home here at Dance Arts Center.