Afterschool Dance & Drama

Movement, drama, fitness, dance technique, creativity and more for kids of all ages!

Whether your kid has an interest in dance & theater, or just lots of energy to burn, we’ve got a fantastic new afterschool program to keep their creative juices flowing long after the bell rings. And we promise to thoroughly wear them out. 😉 

Every afternoon includes at least two classes (dance technique, drama and/or fitness), as well as supervised homework time and other fun activities. Along with learning dance & drama, kids will develop discipline, confidence, social skills and musicality in this structured, fun-filled program. 

At the end of the semester, the students will show off what they’ve been learning at an informal showcase (if they want to, no pressure!) Absolutely no prior experience required.

Fall 2021 Registration Now Open! 

After school programming is held from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. at our Center City studio (1923 Chestnut St, above the Trek bike store). To get the most out of our diverse offerings, we recommend signing up for 3-5 days per week, but you can choose whatever combination of days work best for you!

Students and staff will follow all COVID-19 safety protocols required per local and federal guidelines. As of right now, all students and instructors will wear masks indoors. (All of our staff is vaccinated, but all adults and children will remain masked during the after school program.)

Depending on interest, our staff is available to pick up kids from nearby schools such as: Albert Greenfield School, Independence Charter School, Friends Select, Russell Byers Charter, The Philadelphia School and even potentially Stanton and Chester Arthur. Walking groups from any neighborhood location can be arranged with a minimum of four participants.

Schedule & Class Descriptions

3 – 3:30 p.m. — Arrival, snack and games 

3:30 – 4:15 p.m. — Class I — Dance or Drama

4:15 – 5 p.m. — Class II — Dance or Drama

5 – 5:30 p.m. — Dance Fitness Party, Improv Games or free time (*with periodic options for parents to join in!) 

5:30 – 6 p.m. – Homework time and pick up

*Times may be adjusted if schools revise their dismissal schedules. Read on for the detailed fall line-up, which may be tweaked depending on the ages/interests of the kids who sign up.

Dance offerings include: 

  • Ballet
  • Jazz & Musical Theater Jazz
  • Lyrical
  • Cardio Dance (Hip Hop Cardio, Zumba, Dance Party Mix, etc.)

Drama classes include: 

  • Act Out — Learn what it takes to be an actor: Work on stage presence, character development and more while rehearsing short scenes and plays. 
  • Improv — No worries if you’re not into performing, this class is for anyone who likes to be spontaneous and a little silly! Let the imagination flow through dramatic exercises, improvised skits and all sorts of games.
  • Musical Theater — It’s our own off-Broadway stage! Sing AND dance while rehearsing a variety of showtunes.
  • Playwriting — Bring stories to life on stage! Kids will get the chance to write and act in their own original creations. 
  • YouTube Star — Anyone can post videos on YouTube, but only some get thousands of followers. Explore what it takes to stand out and work on creating your own unique on-camera personna. Finished clips may be posted on our official youtube page (with parent permission, of course!)

Enroll Here

Ready to join the fun? Even if you’re not sure yet how many days or which days of the week you’d like to do, please fill out this intake form to tell us more about your children and their interests. This will help us tailor our daily schedule to the ages and preferences of the kids who sign up. We’ll follow up to go over any questions and walk you through creating a profile in our system. Any questions, just shoot us an email or call 215-645-2717.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


After school programming is billed in monthly installments, along with a one-time $100 registration fee. To help us set our class schedules and prep for our end of season showcase, we require committing to a full semester session. Fall 2021 session will run for 4 months (Sept, Oct, Nov., Dec.).

We believe that everyone should have access to the arts, so if the cost is of concern, please contact us to work something out. We can create alternative payment plans or discuss need-based tuition assistance.

Want to enroll multiple kids? Siblings get 10% off! Register one student, then email us to set up the discount for the next.

2 Days/Week — $350/month

3 Days/Week — $400/month

4 Days/Week — $450/month

5 Days/Week — $499/month

**BEST Value** 

*Early dismissal pickups from ICS on Wednesdays may also be available for an additional $25/week, contact us if you’d be interested in this service.

Bonus Day Camps

When schools close for professional development, we’ve got you covered! 

Full-day camps — $70Half-day camps — $40

Sign up now for these fall camp dates:

More Nov & Dec dates coming soon!

Full day camps run from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., followed by our ongoing afternoon classes from 3:30 pm.- 6 p.m. Students who are not already enrolled in after school programs are welcome to stay for those sessions for an additional $25 “extended day” option. After school students do not pay extra for this part.

See a sample camp schedule by clicking the above registration links.

After School FAQ

If your question isn’t here, find even more studio info on our Policies page or drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help!

Click on a question below to show the answer.

What should the students wear?

School attire is fine for most classes. For dance fitness classes, the goal is to get sweaty, so you may want to send an extra t-shirt and shorts. For students taking ballet, we recommend bringing tights or leggings and a tank top or leotard. There are plenty of changing rooms at the studio. 

Can my child register for a single class instead of the full afterschool program?

Absolutely. Kids classes are held in 8 week sessions. The cost is $150/class for the full 8 week session. Contact us to let us know which class you’d like to take and we’ll get you set up. 

Are there make-up classes if my child has to miss a day?

Yes! If you need to miss a day for a special circumstance, you can come in on another day that week. Just be sure to notify us in advance so we’re clear on exactly which kids are getting picked up from school each day.

For students rehearsing pieces for the winter showcase, we may be able to record practice videos or use livestream technology to help them catch up on any missed material. 

What’s the COVID policy?

To keep our everyone safe, we ask that parents and students abide by a community code: 


  • Keep tabs on your own health and stay home if you’re not feeling well, have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with anyone showing signs of illness. 
  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19 or comes into contact with someone who has, we ask that they don’t come to the studio for 14 days or until a negative test.
  • If a student tests positive after coming to class, contact us immediately. This way, we can notify anyone else who was potentially exposed to help trace and contain any potential outbreaks. 
  • Kids will be asked to regularly wash hands thoroughly, and will not be allowed to share food. 
  • Students will be required to wear face masks indoors per local and national safety guidelines. 

Meet the Team

Deborah headshot

Deborah Hirsch

Founder & Dance Instructor

Between running Philly Dance Fitness and running after 3 children, Deborah has her hands more than full. But somehow she can’t resist new challenges — thus the birth of this multi-faceted after school program. As a “nerdy” kid growing up, Deborah found herself liberated from stereotypes when she took to the stage in school plays, and even more free on the dance floor. Though she went on to study journalism at Northwestern University, she kept her passion for dance alive by taking non-credit courses every term and completing a minor in the Integrated Arts Program. She founded Philly Dance Fitness in 2010 while also working as a newspaper reporter. After a decade in journalism, she turned her full attention to developing the company, which now offers more than 45 weekly classes at multiple locations in the city. She’s completed numerous fitness certifications, teaching everything from aquacize to Pilates, and of course, all kinds of dance. She also teaches partner dancing through sister company Ballroom Bliss. During the summer, she organizes the annual nonprofit Philadelphia Dance Day festival and also travels to a variety of city rec centers to lead dance programming for 5-12 year-old campers, who make sure to call her out if she’s not clued into the latest Tik Tok dance trends. She credits the encouragement of many excellent teachers over the years for helping her become her best self, and hopes to do the same for your children.

Beverly headshot

Beverly Holskin

Ballet Directory & Dance Instructor

A former molecular geneticist, Beverly found her second calling teaching dance and hasn’t looked back. Her training began at age 3, studying classical ballet, jazz and tap. She continued dancing while working as a research scientist in the biopharmaceutical industry, rehearsing with the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company at night and on weekends. She also served as the choreographer and lead model for a major modeling production company in the tri-state area, participating in hundreds of fashion shows over a 20 year period. Between coaching teen models and teaching children’s ballet and creative movement classes for Philly Dance Fitness, she’s developed a passion for nurturing young dancers. In class, she delivers her technical expertise in a structured but relaxed and supportive environment. Kids will still learn discipline, focus and technique, but with a more laid-back approach than what you might find at a traditional ballet school. In addition to instructing, Beverly serves as the studio manager and can answer questions about registration, scheduling or anything else.

billy sander headshot

Billy Sander

Program Coordinator & Drama Instructor

Billy has always had a passion for educating children through the power of entertainment, even participating in a voluntary touring children’s theater program, CAPA Caravan, while attending Creative and Performing Arts High School. In 2018, he graduated from The University of the Arts with a BFA in Acting and a minor in Musical Theater. Since then, he’s honed his craft in numerous professional settings, leading classes and birthday parties as well as performing in plays and musicals. In 2021, he launched Sandcastle Fun Co., a mobile children’s educational entertainment company that offers weekly outdoor classes for 1-5 year-olds. He can’t wait to help your kids open up “onstage” during drama classes at Philly Dance Fitness!

Ketta Burden headshot

Nicketta Raynee

Musical Theater & Drama Instructor

Nicketta has more than 15 years of experience working with children as a teacher, director, writer and choreographer. In addition to a degree in Early Childhood Education from West Chester University, she’s taken several acting and film courses. She’s currently studying theater at Temple University. She’s directed numerous youth productions at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, including “The Lion King,” “The Wiz,” “Sing” and “Annie.” During the pandemic, she moved rehearsals outdoors to keep her “Lights, Camera, Believe: Youth Performing Arts” group going, giving the kids a much-needed slice of normalcy and connection. Through her work in the arts, Nicketta also aims to teach children self-esteem, social-emotional skills and conflict resolution.


Jody Thigpen

Lyrical Instructor

Dance is life! I’ve been dancing since I could walk and don’t know life without it. It’s the best way to feel better physically, mentally, emotionally, and just let it all out. If music is playing, I’m dancing.


Brittany Almquist

Hip Hop Instructor

I come from a long line of dance lovers. I dance for fun, I dance for joy, I dance when I need to relieve stress or tune out, and I dance when I eat a good meal.


Rachel Back

Zumba Instructor

I’ve been dancing since age 2 and can’t imagine my life without it. Move in a way that you feel most comfortable with. Own it — make it your own!

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