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Welcome to...

Hello, from Stephanie!

Children's Dance Theater logo

As the proud owner of Children’s Dance Theater, I’m incredibly excited to welcome the Maple Valley community to our studio family.  We are so excited to welcome your dancer to our program, which you will learn all that our studio has to offer. Over the coming weeks we are excited to see what each class has been working on this year and are looking forward to seeing the dancers' hard work on our recital stage in June.


Rest assured that during this transition so many wonderful things will remain the same. We are very excited that Doris Rai, Monica, Charles and Mackenzie are all staying on staff. I have much respect for these terrific dance educators and your child’s dance training is in great hands. Dance class tuition, the dress code and your child’s classes will be staying the same through the end of the school year. 


There will be some changes to the building itself over the next few weeks. We are excited to give a little facelift to the studio, including some bathroom improvements. 


As a former teacher at Dance Expressions, this community has a special place in my heart. I look forward to watching the dance program grow. CDT has a clearly laid out progression for dancers to help them achieve wonderful skills and make amazing friendship connections. We are proud to watch dancers from the age 3 grow to young adults who go on to graduate and do amazing things in their young adult lives. I’m very excited to launch our three other programs at the Maple Valley location. It is my personal mission to ensure that there is something for everyone at the studio. 


I hope that you will join me on Sunday April 14th from 2-4pm for an Open House at the Maple Valley studio. I’d love to meet you and your dancer, introduce you to some key staff members and learn more about what you are most excited about.

Our Programs

Our Programs

Children's Dance Theater offers a unique learning experience for children of all ages. We specialize in combining the creative elements of dance, theater, art, and preschool into one comprehensive program. Our instructors have over 20 years of experience, and are dedicated to helping every student reach their full potential.


We offer a variety of classes and activities, so that your child can explore their creativity while learning the fundamentals of dance. We strive to create a supportive and encouraging environment, so that every child can feel confident and excited to explore their creativity.


Get to Know Us

We are more than a Dance Studio…..

Children’s Dance Theater was founded in 2007 in a small basement studio with three major goals: to provide age-appropriate music & choreography to students in Western Washington, to challenge students to achieve their personal best, and to be inclusive of students from all walks of life- including neurodivergent students.

Over the years, the small dance studio has evolved and grown to now three locations in Auburn, Federal Way, and Maple Valley, WA with creative artistic opportunities for aspiring dancers, actors and artists. 

​Children’s Dance Theater has four pillar programs: Dance, Theater, Art, and Preschool. These programs have specialty classes meant to introduce the art form, develop exceptional skill, and provide inspiration that speaks to the artist’s soul. Our students are more than just students to us – they are family. Our faculty mentor and guide every student that enters our program to help them achieve their best. We believe that confidence, poise, dedication and self-expression are just as important as art itself. Through training and performance opportunities, our students develop into beautiful artists, as well as amazing human beings.

What's Staying 
The Same?

We know how important your child’s dance teacher is to them. I am honored that Doris Rai, Charles, Monica and Mackenzie are entrusting me with the future of this studio. Rest assured these terrific teachers are not going anywhere. 


The current class schedule is staying and the caliber of the classes will be staying the same. These classes will be changing in name only, to match the CDT brand. During the next school year the CDT branding will be in full effect. Not to worry, you do not have to go buy new shoes for the Creative Ballet & Tap class (formerly Glitterbugs). 


Dance class tuition and competition group routine tuition rates will be honored through June. You will be receiving statements at the end of the month, please double check it and let us know if anything is incorrect. Our wonderful office manager will ensure everything looks as it should!

What's Changing?

Be sure to mark your calendar now for the June recital. The performances are May 31st & June 1st at the Auburn High School Performing Arts Center. Dress rehearsal at the theater will be May 23rd, 28th and 30th. Your dancer will only have to come to ONE of those rehearsal dates- not all. More information about the recital will be sent in April so stay tuned! 


The building itself is going to undergo some changes. We will be cleaning up the landscaping and giving the studio a significant clean out. After we clean up there will be some new furniture to make the lobby a welcoming place for parents and students to enjoy, and drum roll…. A bathroom upgrade! We are considering a few other changes that will take some time and planning and you will be updated as those become more final.

Our studio software operates very differently and we do have to have private lessons match our current policies. These are as follows:

  • Private lessons are $35 per 30 minute lesson.

  • Private lessons MUST be booked through your parent portal. 

  • Private lessons must be paid at the time of booking. 

  • Must cancel/reschedule a minimum of 24-hours before scheduled private lesson to receive credit for payment already made. To cancel/reschedule, email the front desk at

  • Must be booked at least 48-hours before the scheduled lesson is to take place.

What to do next

I know the CDT experience to be an amazing experience for your students. We specialize in combining the creative elements of dance, theater, art, and preschool into one comprehensive program. Our instructors have over 20 years of experience, and are dedicated to helping every student reach their full potential.

You have three simple tasks to complete:


Log Into The
Parent Portal

When you first log in you will be prompted to accept our policies and procedures. Then, check that your information, child’s information are all accurate. If not, please update accordingly. Next, set up your auto payments. Our default payment option is the first of the month. We do offer a 15th of the month payment plan. If you would like to have your payment come out on the 15th, reply to this email and the reception team will take it from there.


Performance Commitment

You will love our performances. Our recitals are highly organized and inspiring events that help your student showcase all that they have learned over the year. Each year we have a theme, and this year’s is “Masterpieces”. Each dance is inspired by a work of art. Our performances are optional, and it is so helpful for instructors planning to know if you are not able to be a part of the show. But you want to be a part of this show!  Our commitment form is an organizational tool that helps you know the big bullet points and lets us have a mechanism to get the information to instructors.  CDT does not have a performance fee for our recital., though all audience members do have to purchase a ticket. Read the commitment form to learn more.


Follow Us!

Follow Us! @childrensdancetheater on Facebook and Instagram. During Spring Break we will begin our spring cleaning of the Maple Valley location and we want you to see the results! That’s why we are holding an open house on Sunday April 14th, from 2-4pm. We want to meet you and hear what you are excited for.

Our Performances

Children’s Dance Theater works hard to provide ample opportunity for your child to have their work seen by an audience. In addition to our annual June dance performance, we have a variety of shows and community events that your child can sign up to be a part of. Some performances require an audition and have additional costs. Others are available through a sign up and have little to no cost.

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Dance Team

Welcome Maple Valley Dance Team Members! Children’s Dance Theater invites you into our Thrive Family. 


Here at Children’s Dance Theater we promote a healthy approach physically and mentally to dance education and training with the hopes of instilling joy and self worth. Our competition team is fun and challenging for dancers who want to have multiple performance opportunities, and experience the camaraderie of working with a team! Our dance team thrives on inclusive and appropriate costumes, award winning choreography and a supportive booster club.


Thrive is open to all dancers who are enrolled at CDT. With two teams there is a place for everyone and every level.

Ballet Productions

In collaboration with our 501c3 nonprofit group, Children’s Dance Theater Foundation, we produce two classical ballet productions each year- The Nutcracker annual production and a Spring Ballet production. Through gorgeous costumes, amazing scenery, enchanting music and beautiful dancing, performances like Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, Snow White and more  provide a magical experience for dancers and audience members alike. Learn more about our current production, Cinderella the ballet

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Michelle L.

“We love Children’s Dance Theater! All of the teachers and staff are wonderful to work with and they are all so patient and attentive to the kids. We love all of the different programs and classes offered. My daughter has taken classes here for a few years now and continues to grow in her skills."
  • What should my child wear to a trial class?
    Please do not purchase anything for the dance trial class. We want you to be 100% confident in your decision to enroll in dance lessons first. If you already have dance attire feel free to wear it however loose comfortable clothes that your child can move and stretch in are perfect. Jeans are not allowed in any dance classes. If you are trying a hip hop class please wear clean soled sneakers to avoid tracking in dirt and rocks. For all other classes we do have a small selection of "borrow" shoes that you may use for the trial. It happens rarely, but should we not have the correct size socks or bare feet will suffice. Please arrive about 15 minutes early to check in with the receptionist, find some shoes and there is a small bit of paperwork we need parents to fill out.
  • Where should I park?
    The Federal Way Location has ample parking surrounding our building. The Auburn Location is located near the transit center, there are many street parking opportunities. However, during busy commuter hours there are very specific time limits to parking so please be sure to read the posted City enforced signs. The parking lot directly in front of CDT is a public parking lot with the following time limits: – 5am-9am: 15 minute limits – 9am-5pm: 3 hour free parking – 5pm-6:30pm: 15 minute limits – Free parking after 6:30pm During prime commuter hours we encourage our families to use the unofficial drop-off zone directly in front of our entrance. There is ample parking on the street as well as on the East side of ‘A’ Street for our clients to use.
  • What are your operating hours
    A receptionist is available during all of our class times. The school year session (September-June) operating hours are Monday –Thursdays 4pm-8pm and Friday and Saturday 9:30am-noon. We are closed on Sunday. Our 6 week summer session (July –August) is typically Monday- Friday from 9am- 4pm, and closed Saturday–Sunday. You can register for classes 24 hours a day 7 days a week online. We follow a similar closure schedule to the local School District and are closed in observance of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Mid-winter break, Spring Break and Memorial Day weekend. There is typically a 2 week closure at the end of June/early July and then again in August.
  • What if my child is sick?
    Good attendance is essential to advancement in our program however we understand that sickness and occasional conflicts will come up from time to time. Please give the office a call to have your dancer excused. You have 30 days to make up the class (optional) in the same or lower level class. You may also use your make up class in a different style class if you wish. If frequent absences become a problem, your dancer may not be allowed to perform in the June show, in this case a warning will be given an opportunity to fix the frequent absenteeism.
  • What if we are running late?
    We understand how busy life can be. It is important to be on time, however if you are running a few minutes late please take the time to get ready in the lobby and then quietly and discreetly enter the studio. In the advanced classes any dancer more than 15 minutes late may be asked to sit and observe class since they have missed the majority of the warm up and we do not want to risk injury. This is at the instructor’s discretion.
  • What is your snow/weather policy?
    If the local school district must cancel classes due to extreme weather or events beyond our control, classes will be canceled and you may make up the lesson within 30 days in a similar level class. Refunds or credits are not given. The Auburn location follows the Auburn School District snow closure decisions. The Federal Way location follows the Federal Way Public School closures decisions.
  • What if I need to stop dance lessons?
    We require 30-days’ notice to discontinue any classes. Withdrawals must be done in person or by completing our digital withdrawal form and will not be accepted over the phone or email. The only exception is if we are unable to hold classes for whatever reason. Withdrawals must be done at the reception desk not with a teacher. All automatic payments will stop after the 30-day notice period. Non Attendance does NOT constitute withdrawal notice or adequate reason for not paying tuition. Once classes begin, tuition is non-refundable or transferable and credits are not issued. We reserve the right to terminate lessons to any student. In such a case, refunds are at the director’s discretion. To withdraw from a class, you must: 1. Request the withdrawal form, there is a hardcopy or digital version. 2. Complete and sign a withdrawal form provided by the school office. We cannot accept a withdrawal form if there is a balance due. 3. Inform the studio how you would like to handle your costume charges (a. forfeit the money you have paid to the point of your withdrawal, pay the remaining amount and have the costume shipped to you.) 4. If you are withdrawing after April 30th, you do not have an option to forfeit costume fees paid. All costume fees must be paid with final payment and your costume will be available for pick-up. 5. If you selected an annual payment: Annual payments are non-refundable. If you choose to withdraw all tuition prepaid is forfeited.
  • Do I have to wait for a new month to register?
    The Sampler Series and Theater program is date specific, please register at least 3 days in advance to prevent class cancellation. The Children's and School Division will take later enrollment up through the end of February. We will pro-rate or adjust your tuition to reflect the appropriate start date. That way if you enroll mid-month you are not paying for the classes that have already passed. However, you will need to make arrangements to catch up the missed costume payment allocation. That can be done in a one time installment or divided up over your remaining months. The Conservatory Program enrollment ends at the end of September. Please contact us to arrange for a placement audition. The Arabesque Academy can take enrollment throughout the year. We prefer not to have any new enrollment after March. Please contact us to see if we have availability.
  • What if my automatic payment is declined?
    We understand these things can happen. Our clients pay by automatic payment with either a Visa or MasterCard, credit/debit card on either the 1st or the 15th of the month. If your payment is declined you will receive an email notifying you as such. Many times this is corrected by updating an expired card. We do automatically attempt to reprocess the card in 24 hours. You have a 5 day grace period before your account is assigned a $10 late fee. CDT will begin collection procedures on any account 90 days overdue.
  • What if my child just stands and watches class after class?
    This is not an unusual response with 2-4 year olds and even sometimes 5 year olds. There are many different reasons for this reaction. Some children need a few classes to observe what is happening in order to feel comfortable enough to participate. We usually hear about how this student dances all the time at home and even does the moves from class at home but not at the studio. This is performance anxiety and will pass. The good thing is that your child is learning even if they are just observing. Please keep in mind that the studio can be a loud place with all the other kids, music and tap shoes. If your child is more sensitive to noise they may take longer to fully participate. Also there is a lot of movement to get used to, and sometimes in the younger classes it is organized chaos. That can be overwhelming as well. Finally, they just may be more sensitive and might not be ready. In general, it takes 3-6 classes for the average “shy” child to feel comfortable. If there is a severe anxiety it may take longer. We work with students and parents as long as you are willing to and it is not causing a disruption. You, the parent, should always be your child’s biggest cheerleader. Never get angry or frustrated in front of your child at their lack of participation. Play “dance class” at home, encourage them to show you a new step or shape they may have learned, ask to see their stamps. Please arrive early to give your child a settling period. Learn some of your child’s classmate’s names and talk about their new friends. Most importantly be patient with your child. If after 4-6 classes things haven’t changed a break may be the thing to do.
  • Can I switch class times later in the year?
    Absolutely! However, it is in your child’s best interest to let us know as soon as possible if you want to switch classes. Each class time has a unique performance routine and costume. To switch classes after your dancer begins learning their routine or you have paid for a costume is difficult (not impossible) and possibly costly. Let us know right away if you are anticipating a time conflict.
  • Can I watch class?
    Yes, you can! While the studio is for dancers only, we have viewing windows that allow parents to sit and observe class. We also have closed circuit TV feed in our lobby for parents to to watch from the lobby. Sometimes as a treat, instructors may invite parents in to show off a great routine or if a dancer has a special guest. This is at the instructor’s discretion.
  • Why do you have a uniform?
    The uniform dress code is important to dance training for many different reasons. Young children are often distracted by their large skirts and frilly tutus and possibly become jealous of their friend's beautiful outfit. This makes the instructor’s job much more difficult. As dancers get older and more advanced in their dance training, the simple leotard and tights combination make it possible for the instructors to see the dancers' bodies so they can make the proper corrections. It is much easier for teenagers to accept no skirts for ballet class during puberty because it was the rule when they were little. Each class level is also indicated by a different color leotard (like Karate with the different color belts) Once promoted, dancers are often very excited to get their new color leotard and have such a sense of accomplishment, which builds self-esteem.
  • What if my child has experience from another studio and I think they should be placed at a higher level?
    You may be right; however, each dance studio has a slightly different program. It is best to call and arrange for a free placement class. We’ll ask you some simple questions to figure out which class you should attend. We always work to promote a dancer, not demote. So even if you were at Level 3 at your old studio and we ask you to come to our Level 2, please do so and let the teacher be the judge. We want our dancers to be appropriately challenged in their classes. We do not allow children to be placed in a class that the faculty finds unsuitable.
  • What if we do not want to perform?
    All of our performances are optional. Competition team auditions are held in June and Nutcracker Auditions are held in August. If you do not want to perform in these extra opportunities, simply do not show up for the audition. If you are enrolled in the Children's, School and Conservatory Division and do not wish to participate in our June performance simply return the commitment form (handed out in January of each year) marked appropriately. Dancers may still participate in classes. Teachers will plan their choreography so the non-participating dancer is at the end of the line so they can learn and be fully engaged in classes, yet it is not a disruption to the routine when they are not at the show. With our inclusive tuition model your dancer will still receive a costume like their dance friends. The Arabesque Academy preschool performance and graduation is also optional and simply mark the commitment form if you are not able to be a part of the ceremony. The Sampler Series does not have a traditional performance, however the final day of the session is an in-studio observation day.
  • Do you offer discounts for multiple classes and/or siblings?
    For group classes, yes, our tuition scale is based on the hours of lessons your entire family dances. This way the discount is already built into our fees. The annual registration fee is $35 for a single student, $40 for the family. That is paid per season, per family, not per dancer or per class. Private lessons are not discount and are priced per dancer. In the event your children need 4 or more costumes you will receive a monthly discount. See the discount section of the tuition page for more information.
  • What age do you start taking students?
    We take students ages 3 and up! The best time to start dance is when your child is able to enter the studio by themselves and begin learning in a classroom like setting. They need to be potty trained, able to listen and follow directions (age appropriately) and be able to participate in class without a parent in the room. The age is different for each child. We believe it’s never too late to dance! We offer teen and adult classes as well.
  • Can I video tape the performance?
    Photography during most theatrical performances (dance and theatre) is traditionally prohibited; however, we make an exception at our June performances and allow parents to video tape and photograph their child’s performance. We do ask that you turn off your flash as a courtesy to the performers and other audience members. Please keep aisle clear and do not obstruct another audience member’s view. Nutcracker And Spring Ballet parents are asked to video the Dress Rehearsal instead of the performance.
  • What is your privacy policy?
    We do not share or sell any of our clients information with any 3rd party.
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