Student Playing Steel Pans with text: Training

Private lessons, year round group classes and performance ensemble training opportunities are offered in the following core repertoire areas: West African Music and Dance, Classical Music, Jazz, Hip-Hop/Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Regional Mexican Music and Dance, Trinidadian Steel Pans, Southeast Asian Music and Dance, Theater, Voice, and Media/Digital Film Arts. Students begin here as early as three years of age. All students receive opportunities to discover thousands of years of culture and skills in a shared and creative environment. Producing new work and connecting it to our community is also vital to us. Through the work of nine resident companies, our public presentations often reach live audiences of twenty five thousand community members, while many of our film and signature productions find a national audience.

East Bay Center offers a wide variety of world performing arts courses divided into three main branches: theater, dance and music. Click here to review the course structure for each of those fields of study to get a better understanding of organization and content. 

Philosophy of Instruction

At the Center, students learn and grow by doing: through group classes, private lessons, performing ensemble memberships, public performances, and opportunities to create work - writing music, choreographing dance, writing/directing theater, producing short films. Hard work is central. However hard one works though, advancing at one's own rate of development is also an important key to building lasting skills in music, dance and theater.  All Center faculty are passionate about helping every student to evolve securely and patiently through a step by step growth in fundamental skills - and not by adhering to rigid age and grade proficiency correlations. We challenge students to discover their own strengths and capacity beginning from where they come to us, and from there we challenge them to go beyond.

In addition to specific arts technique, significant attention is also paid to nurturing our students  personal sense of agency - or the ability to act in the world beyond the Center and the high school time period. Part of this work at the Center includes one on one mentoring opportunities with faculty as well as opportunities for our older students in turn to mentor younger students as class assistants, senior ensemble members, peer tutors, and participants in self-determined community projects. Another part of this work lies in understanding what colleges and the professional world of the arts is looking for in young adults who wish to continue on in their studies after high school. Patience is critical. It is the Center's philosophy that four to six years of training and mentoring is generally an effective amount of time in which to build an effective training experience. Although it is never too early to begin, many of our students successfully begin in the 7th or 8th grade.

Ruthie Dineen

Managing Director