How old does my child have to be to enroll?

We offer classes for children as young as 18 months in our Me & My Shadow classes where an adult needs to participate. Dancers need to be 2 years old to start in our 30-minute Tiny Toes Ballet classes.

What ages do you teach?

We have classes for all ages and levels.  While the majority of our students are 3-18 years old, we have students as young as 18 months up to one 75 years young!

 What is the cutoff date for ages?

Students must meet the minimum age for the class by December 31.

My child is 9 years old, and this will be her/his first year in dance class.  Will s/he be in a “beginner” class with much younger students?

No, they will be with students in their own age group. We have beginning level classes for all ages.

When should my child begin dance classes?

Dance education can begin once a child has the motor skills to participate in dance class.  However, it is critical that these early dancers get proper training so that poor habits are not created.  Excellent training is critical in these early years. That said, it is never too late to start dancing!

Should my son take dance?

Most definitely!  Boys need the same opportunities to learn timing, discipline, coordination, and appreciation for the arts. Dance will also improve his flexibility and strength that crosses over into other athletic pursuits.

Do you have classes for adults?

We do!  Classes marked T/A are teen and adult classes. We even have adult only classes!


 What classes do you offer?

We offer classes in acrobatics, acting, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, improvisation, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theater, tap, voice, and yoga. Almost all have beginning through advanced levels and most are one hour in length.

How do I know which class should to sign up for?

If your child is new to dance, start with a beginning class at their age level.  If they have danced previously, you can call the office to help you determine the best starting place and arrange to be evaluated by one of our instructors.  Instructors are always closely observing their students and if a child is found to be falling behind or progressing more quickly, they will be moved to a more appropriate class. If you enroll your student for a class above a beginning level without being evaluated, the instructor may ask them to find a class more appropriate for their level. 

How many "sessions" do you have per year?  Are there separate Fall and Spring class schedules?

Our studio has one season from August through June, culminating with our annual Showcase. While the majority of our students participate for the entire season, students can join at any time.  “Tech” classes do not have a Showcase number so even late spring enrollment is possible.

Are parents allowed to observe classes?

Our student body is quite large and many students take multiple classes in a day. Please keep the hallways clear so that they can get to their classes on time.  We ask that parents stay in the front lobby if they need to stay at the studio during class. This allows our younger students to work on self-sufficiency. At their discretion, instructors may invite you in to see progress, often toward the end of class. Official class observation times are the first week of the month.

What classes are available for my preschooler?

We offer Me & My Shadow classes for toddlers and their caregivers; Pre-ballet and Fairy Tale ballet, beginning tap and dance samplers (ballet/jazz/tap/hip hop) that provide varied curriculum.

Should my child take multiple classes per week?

Younger students should not feel a need to take multiple classes per week. After the age of 7 years and depending on their love for the art form and their reason for taking class a student may decide to enroll in more classes. Dance is like any sport or art form; the more you train the better and faster you achieve. Students of all ages reap great rewards if only taking 1 class per week.

May I drop in to a class?

Yes, drop in classes are available if there is room in the class. Please contact the office regarding the class you would like to attend to ensure there is room. We ask that you arrive at the studio at least 30 minutes prior to the start of class to complete paperwork.


How many instructors does the studio have?

We currently have 35 instructors, trained at programs and universities around the country.  Some of them started their training with us 30 years ago!  Please see our Faculty page on our website for individual teachers bios.

Do instructors need a license?  

They do not – which is why it is important to research the studio you are considering.  Hawkins School of Performing Arts has been training dancers since 1988.  Deirdre Hawkins, our owner and ballet artistic director holds an MA in Education, with a specialization in dance, from Stanford University. Our instructors have trained at acclaimed dance programs and universities around the world and are continuallyenhancing their own dance education.  Classes are audited to ensure that proper training is being provided.

 When may I speak to a teacher?

Often teacher’s schedules do not allow for a break between classes. You are very important to us so please leave a message for the teacher at the front desk. You can also email us through your parent portal and it will be forwarded to the teacher.

Do you offer private instruction?

Yes, please call the office for more information. Instructors set their own rates and studio rental must be paid.


How do I enroll my child?

Enrollment is done online. Visit our website and click the button on the right that says “Click Here to Register”. If you experience any issues, the office staff is here to help!

May I take a free trial class?

Yes, you are welcome to take a trial class. Please contact the office to arrange your trial.

When and how to I pay for tuition?

Tuition is collected by automated credit card, debit card or electronic check payments and will be completed on the 3rd of the month or the first business day following if the 3rd is on a weekend or holiday.

What is the drop procedure?

To drop a class, you must submit a drop form to the school by the 15th of the prior month to the student’s intent to discontinue.  You may email the form to info@hawkinsschool.comto let us know of your intent.

Do you offer credits or makeups? 

Our tuition structure is designed around our entire season.  Tuition is broken down into 11 equal monthly payments. If we did not do this, each month would have a different tuition payment, making it quite confusing for everyone. We do try to work with our families to keep costs as low as possible which is why we offer multi-class discounts to families, not just individual students.

No adjustment will be made for vacations, holidays, or missed classes.  Students may make up classes in any appropriate age and level class within 60 days and if currently enrolled. To make up a class, please inform the front office any time after the missed class up to 30 minutes prior to the class start.

Can I put my account on hold?

No. You may drop classes and re-enroll. A registration fee will be charged at the time you re-enroll.


What benefits will my child gain from dance class?

The research is clear – dance provides both physical, mental and emotional benefits for dancers of all ages.  Dancers experience improved stamina, strength and flexibility; improved coordination, balance and posture, and increased cardiovascular health. Dance is highly social and children learn new communications skills, how to trust, cooperate and work as part of a team without having to compete with their peers.

Performance opportunities are a great way for a shy child to overcome social anxiety and to become comfortable appearing before an audience.

Dance also requires discipline and focus. A dance class improves a child's listening ability, memory/spatial awareness, and awareness of others within a group. Dancing uses both sides of the brain simultaneously in a coordinated manner; one half is controlling the physicality and movement, the other the creative and artistic expression.

Why should I choose Hawkins School of Performing Arts?   

We have three decades of experience and have raised many of the region's dancers. Whether pursuing a career in the arts or just dancing for the fun of it, our dancers become “dance family.”  Our experienced, creative faculty encourages and nurtures students, inspiring them to find their passion for dance and the arts. We have trained students who have gone on to grace stages from Broadway to Europe, and worked in movies and television to Cirque du Soleil as well as those are simply looking for an experience that creates self-confidence, discipline and creativity. 

What are the office hours? 

Office hours are Monday-Friday 3:00-8:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am -12:00 pm. There are limited office hours in the morning that match when classes are in session. It is best to call first to make sure someone will be there if you are planning to stop by in the morning.

What are the studio hours?

Monday 9:00 – 11:00 am and 3:00 – 9:00 pm
Tuesday 3:15-9:30 pm
Wednesday 9:00-11:00 am and 3:00-9:00 pm
Thursday 9:00-11:00 am and 3:00-9:00 pm
Friday 9:30-11:00 am and 3:00-9:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

How many studios do you have?

The Hawkins School of Performing Arts occupies over 18,000 square feet of air conditioned space, 10 sprung-floor dance studios, a piano/vocal room, multiple dressing rooms, a student lounge, kitchen with microwave and refrigerator, and spacious waiting rooms.  We have parking for 70+ vehicles and are conveniently located off Folsom Auburn Road, just two miles off Highway 50. 

What does T/A mean in your schedule?

T/A means a class is open to anyone 13 and older.

Levels and Styles

When will my child begin Pointe training?

Young dancers are always enthusiastic about beginning dancing en Pointe too soon. If a child has had good ballet training he/she will begin Pointe work usually after the age of 12, once bones in the feet have fused. If care is not taken, physical difficulties may result from starting Pointe before supple bodies are strong enough and muscles are properly developed. Dancers will receive a letter inviting them to train en pointe once a podiatrist has evaluated their feet.

Do I need to take ballet?

Ballet is the foundation of all other dance styles because it teaches the student an awareness and understanding of "form" and "line."  Ballet taken in conjunction with other styles and techniques of dance will assist dancers in accomplishing their dance goals more quickly. Ballet training is necessary to successfully accomplish more advanced level movement techniques. Ballet has proven to enhance all athletic abilities.

That said, hip hop, tap and acro are dance skills that can be learned with no ballet training (although even our company tappers are required to take ballet!) As a child progresses in dance they could develop an interest and find additional value in experimenting with Ballet class. Students are welcome to try a ballet class any time.

How do I know if my child is placed in the correct class level?

If your child has danced elsewhere, we invite you to have one of our professional instructors evaluate them for placement.  Our instructors closely monitor their students and may advise that a student move to a more appropriate class if needed.

How many hours of class are required for advanced levels?

Advanced training requires more hours.  In general, the following is a guideline:

·     Beginning 2 – 2 hours
·     Beginning 3 – 2 hours
·     Intermediate 1 – 3 hours
·     Intermediate 2 – 4 hours
·     Intermediate 3 - 5 hours
·     Advanced 1 – 5 hours
·     Advanced 2 – 7 hours
·     Pointe 1 – 4 hours tech and 1 hour pointe
·     Pointe 2 – 5 hours tech and 2 hours pointe
·     Pointe 3 or 4 - 7 hours tech and 2.5 hours pointe

Will my child advance each year?

While your child will always be growing in their ability, they may not progress to the next level each year. This is particularly true when a student goes up in age group.  A Beginning 1 class with 7-10 year olds is very different than a Beginning 1 class with 10-13 year olds. And some levels take years to master!

If there are dancers in class below my child’s level, will it hold them back?

Dancers are always eager to move forward.  It is imperative that they master the skill level before they progress. In each class there are usually three levels of dancers – those who are slightly below the skill set, those dancing right at the level, and those that are just about ready to progress. Dancers below their level will not hold them back – they all will be practicing the same skills – at their own level.

Dress Code

What clothes should I wear to dance class?


Motionwear® pink leotard (style #2105, color 613)

Capezio pink child convertible tights #1916c and pink ballet slippers



Motionwear® black leotard (style #2516, color 497)

Capezio pink convertible tights #1916, and pink ballet slippers. If needed, a skin tone coordinated athletic bra should be worn



White T-shirt; black tights, jazz pants, or bike shorts

White socks and white ballet slippers


Leotards and tights of student’s color choice; jazz pants

Soffe or bike shorts (no street clothes). Footwear may be ballet slippers or jazz shoes



See Jazz Attire (no street wear)

Black Bloch hard sole oxford tap shoes (no split sole) recommended for ages 8 and up

Acting & Voice:  Loose clothing and soft-soled shoes

Hip Hop/Street: Loose clothing that covers knees. NO skirts. Clean tennis shoes or dance sneakers. Knee pads.

Musical Theatre and Sing & Dance:  Jazz attire

Acrobatics:  Tight fitting tee shirt and shorts or leotard

What dance shoes should I wear?

Ballet: pink ballet slippers

Tap: Black Bloch hard sole oxford tap shoes (no split sole) recommended for ages 8 and up

Jazz: ballet slippers or black jazz shoes

Where can I get dance supplies?

We sell Hawkins shirts, shorts, pants and more in the office. Much of it is suitable for class. The Hawkins Booster club sells tights at the studio a few times a year. Check at the Snack Barre in the lobby for more details.

For shoes, leotards and other dancewear:

Capital Costumes on 8121 Madison Ave. 916-961-2769

For pointe slippers

Benicia Dancewear in the Palladio Shopping Center 916.673.9372

Performances and Competitions

 Is there an annual recital? Does everyone participate?

We hold our annual end of year Showcase in late June at the Jill Solberg Theater at Folsom High School. Every participating class performs in one of the multiple shows held Friday through Saturday. Everyone is welcome to participate in Showcase and information and costume order forms are sent home in January. It is highly recommended as a part of the student’s dance education experience but is not mandatory. If for some reason you are not able to participate, please let your teacher know as soon as possible.

Do you have companies and troupes?

Yes, we have companies and troupes that compete and perform throughout the year.  Our companies include the Hawkins Contemporary and Classical Ballet Company, the Hawkins Contemporary Jazz Company, and the Hawkins Tap Company. Each of these companies has multiple levels for dancers generally age 8-18. We also have competition Troupes in Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern, Musical Theater and Tap.

Do you have other performances during the year?

Our three companies each puts on one - two productions each year. Typically they are held in the fall, early December, mid-February and April.  Performance information is posted in the studio, online and on social media platforms. Companies and troupes also perform throughout the community and company members often perform in productions put on by our resident professional company, Sacramento Contemporary Dance Theatre.

How many classes are required for companies and troupes?

The requirements vary from 2 or 3 hours a week for our youngest troupe members up to 14 hours a week for our pre-professional contemporary company.