Meet the Sullivans: Small Fry Dance Club!

August 6, 2014

Small Fry Dance Club!

Growing up my sister and I took a lot of dance lessons. We took ballet and jazz through most of our childhood, and we loved it! For my parents, allowing us to take dance wasn't just about having us do an activity that we (really, really) enjoyed, but also a commitment to keeping us active, teaching us poise and confidence, and inspiring a love of the creative arts in us.

It's been a long time since I've taken a dance lesson, about 8 or 9 years to be exact, but I've seriously considered signing Owen up for some toddler dance lessons. I don't think of dance as something only girls can take, and luckily Keith agrees with me. Honestly, what girl can resist a guy with great moves on the dance floor? When we decided to sign Owen up for dance I knew exactly where we wanted to go!

 Let me introduce you to the best dance studio on the Peninsula, Small Fry Dance Club!

Small Fry Dance Club was founded in 2007 by Jana Chapeton. The program began as an on-site preschool program at a handful of preschools. In a few short years the program had grown to almost 200 dancers and families began to request public studio classes.

In 2009 Jana's husband, Carlos, decided to leave his teaching position at a local college and come on board to help grow the family the business. Working together they opened their first studio in 2011. Since then the program has grown to over 700 actively enrolled students! SFDC now teaches at over 15 preschool locations and is always looking to expand to new areas. In September of 2014 Small Fry Dance Club will be moving from its 1300 sqft studio in Foster City to a 4000 sqft location in San Mateo.

With this expansion SFDC will also launch a new program, Principal Creative & Performing Arts. PCPA will offer classes for kids ages 5 and up, teens, and adults. Classes will include ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, modern, hip hop, and fitness classes. SFDC will also be adding a new Crawl About class for infants and toddler ages 9 mo to 17 mo. Jana and Carlos hope to make their new location a fun, safe, and professional dance & fitness facility for families all over the peninsula and beyond.

Small Fry Dance Club’s mission is to instill a love of dance in children, their family, and their community. Each dancer will be challenged to strengthen their body awareness, spatial awareness, flexibility, balance, creativity, movement technique, and appreciation of the performing and creative arts. We want dancers to crave movement for physical fitness, artistic outlet, and even emotional comfort. Our goal is to provide age-appropriate movement classes and performance opportunities for toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children. No matter the degree of each child’s dance goals, discovering movement should be nothing but empowering.

I truly admire what Jana and Carlos have been able to create with Small Fry Dance Club. It is not easy to build a small business! Out of curiosity I asked Carols how they got started:

"Jana has been teaching and dancing in the Bay Area since 1998. She has a dance degree from SFSU, and also taught dance classes at Ohlone Community College. When she started Small Fry Dance Club I was working at a start up in Sunnyvale as a 3D game artist. When we realized we had the opportunity to grow this business into something special we sat down to discuss if I should leave my teaching job at CaƱada College. I had been teaching Web Design and 3D modeling and was set to take on a few more classes, so it was a tough decision. The opportunity to grow a family business was too good to pass up and that's what we have been doing ever since. We also have two boys, JD, who turns 4 in September. And Connor who is 1.5yrs old. Running a business with two young children at home has kept us busy over the past few years, but it's been fun and I wouldn't change it for the world. It also gives us insights into what parents need and want and I think that has helped us connect with our customers and grow the business."

And here is some more great news: Small Fry Dance Club is selling a voucher on Plum District today! The voucher is $25 for $50 To Spend Toward Dance Classes at Small Fry Dance Club. We just purchased ours, so you can absolutely expect a recap of Owen's first dance lesson soon!


hello erin said...

SO CUTE! I swear dance has taught lex a TON! Like how to wait her turn, and listen to the teacher, and just all around not to be crazy :) can't wait for Owen to start!!

Sarah said...

so cute! I never took dance as a kid, but want my kids to at least try it!