Youth Programs


Partner dancing is a skill that can be useful many times in life and comes with a code of behavior that requires mutual respect, strong verbal and nonverbal communication, and a high degree of cooperation.   Learning this code of behavior and accompanying dance forms help youth develop self-esteem, social skills, better posture, and respectful behavior towards the opposite gender.  This is especially helpful in ages where youngsters are undergoing physical changes and establishing their personalities.

Culturally ballroom dance covers a wide range of origins from Argentina to Harlem, from Cuba to Vienna.  As they learn to recognize these different musical styles students develop the ability to move to music with rhythm and in unison with each other. 

By participating in the end of season performances our students develop poise and confidence in front of an audience.  Regardless of the level of technical expertise reached during the course of instruction, students will have acquired social skills and self-esteem that will assist them in effective social interaction. 

David Judy, 2010, age 14:  “Debbie did a workshop at my school and I had never danced before.  Dancing is now one of my favorite pastimes.  Over the Summer I participated in dance camp and I learned the foxtrot and enhanced my skills in East coast swing."


  • Students are expected to bring non-rubber soled shoes appropriate to dance in (not the shoes they wear outside).  These can be shoes from their closet; we just do our best to minimize the amount of dirt and grit that is tracked onto our dance floor.
  • Please arrive early to class so you have time to change shoes.
  • Scholarships may be available.
  • Charter and home school students are welcome.

Youth Ballroom Camps

In August 2012 we enjoyed our first youth ballroom dance camp at North Coast Dance.  This camp combined dance instruction with fun etiquette coaching and ended with a lively demonstration.

Instructor Debbie Weist has 20 years of experience working with youth in many forms: as a substitute teacher, environmental educator with the National Park Service, and teaching dance.  Through a partnership with the Del Norte Association for Cultural Awareness (DNACA), Dance with Debbie was able to bring ballroom dance into the classrooms including a 10-week residency in Smith River and Redwood Schools that culminated in a juried performance (May 2010).