Nov 27, 2017
By Aleta Parseghian
The holidays are all about gift giving, right? Buy every family member and friend something they may or may not need as a way to show them that you love them. Make sure there aren’t any empty spaces under the tree. Fill that stocking to the brim. Get your kids every single toy on their wish list. You’ll make room for it all somehow.
Seems a little overkill, right? Yet that’s how most of us operate during the holidays. American consumerism has been so heavily promoted that we’ve forgotten that there are other ways to celebrate the holidays and spoil our loved ones.
As a mother of two with limited space in my home and a limited budget, buying my kids dozens of gifts every Christmas is unrealistic. I have reached a point where we are now introducing a “no gift” policy for holidays and birthdays. And guess what? It works! For my daughter’s 11th birthday, I asked all her guests not to buy her gifts, but they could give her cash or gift cards if they chose to. She walked away with $250 in cash and $100 in gift cards and was SO much happier than if she’s gotten loads of toys she wasn’t interested in. She used the money to buy clothes and school supplies, and put the rest in her savings account.
While this is an easy concept to adopt for an older child, my 3-year-old might not be so receptive to the concept. But what she WOULD love is the gift of new experiences. She’s an active child who loves to learn and play. So this Christmas we are thinking about dance classes.
Providing young children with a fun activity that they can learn from, and possibly become passionate about, has far more long-term benefits than a toy that they’ll be bored with after a year.
With this in mind, here’s a list of local businesses that provide classes in dance, music, theater, and gymnastics for kids of all ages. I would encourage you to look into these as an alternative to the traditional holiday gift giving.
We offer a comprehensive dance program in six styles of dance: jazz, tap, ballet, modern, hip hop, and musical theater. Our highly experienced and caring teachers provide a positive learning environment for every student, at every age, and at every level of experience.
Offering ongoing classes for ages 6+ in tap, flamenco, salsa, zumba, hip-hop, belly dancing, gyrokenesis, and cabaret jazz. New students accepted at any time!
Our program serves students from their first encounter with music and movement to their emergence as young dancers. The curriculum is carefully designed to introduce correct technique and instruction at the appropriate age and physical development of the student.
Expect a warm and friendly environment where everyone is treated with respect. Youth and adult classes in ballet, jazz, breaking, hip-hop and modern.
New World Ballet
905 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa
We have a wide variety of classes available for kids and adults. We are offering classes ranging from Classical Ballet to Contemporary Ballet, Hip-Hop to Multi Cultural Classes.
Classes meet weekly on Tuesday nights October ~ March at the Santa Rosa Vets Building, 1351 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa. Provides a safe and comfortable environment where junior high and high school students learn so much more than just American Style social ballroom dancing. These classes build the student′s confidence and blend in a balance of social behavior, manners and dress for special occasions.
We provide classical ballet training for students 3 and up in a supportive and encouraging environment. With educational and fun technique classes, as well as multiple performances all year. One of the most respected dance studios in Sonoma County.
Under the Artistic Direction of Ms. Patricia O’Reilly, SCD offers the very highest quality classical ballet and dance instruction to youth and adults. Financial Aid is available for families in need.
Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical Ballet, and Acrobatics for kids of all ages. Includes monthly “mommy and me” classes, group dance lessons for ages 3-14, and teen/adult classes.
Our youth classes are designed to foster an interest in the theatre arts among young participants. We aim to allow these little voices to sound big in our world, to deepen connections between family members and communities, and to provide tools for self-expression.
Check out the Young Rep section on our website, featuring everything you need to know for all of our camps, classes, auditions, shows, scholarships, teachers, and more.
A Theater for Children
Quality, affordable live entertainment for the community, as well as after school theater programs that provide theater experiences for children to promote character and community. No cost for participants. Shows are at various locations, so subscribe to our mailing list and visit our website for show locations. We’re always looking for volunteers!
Offering private and group lessons in a large variety of instruments, beginning with Music Fun Time for children as young as 18 months. Two convenient locations in Santa Rosa and Windsor, in addition to after-school music programs and many local schools.
Our mission is to not just teach the notes on the page, but also encourage the process of exploring, creating and improvising in the language called music.
A Santa Rosa music lesson school in Sonoma County, a joyful, peaceful, safe, music learning sanctuary where music lessons, all instruments, drums, voice, and learning music, are as much fun as they are educational.
Sonoma County’s new music education center; offering private lessons in voice and a wide variety of instruments. Music to My Ears has an extensive staff of instructors who teach different instruments to all ages.
122 N Main St. Sebastopol
Professional musicians who teach music to people of all ages. Rental instruments available. We offer onsite lessons for all levels, and most instruments.
We are a group of experienced musicians, teachers, and business professionals who wish to provide kids with the opportunity to learn to play music.
Early childhood curricula, Kindermusik, grows with the child from infancy to elementary school. For older children, we offer group and private instrument lessons in string, keyboard and wind instruments.
Stanroy Music Center
850 4th St, Santa Rosa
We have eleven spacious studios and over fifteen working, professional teachers providing hundreds of private lessons each week on a multitude of different instruments.
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