Heather C. - Mr. Hirschl is the real deal and my daughter has grown so much here under his instruction. He is not only a highly skilled ballet teacher, but also someone who genuinely cares about each person who enters into his classroom. After 4 years, my daughter is still happy to walk in the door each time she goes.
Jing G. - We've been to several ballet schools, there's one was good with many students, why we left was because too many students that teacher can’t focus on each one, do some poses and jumping around, the class was over IOL, teacher never had time to fix each one or talk with them . Some are too technical (too much for her I don't want to push that HARD). At this school Mr. H teaches her more than other places! He talked to her and have them one by one practice which is what I want. I want her to learn something not just playing around. She's 6 and it's about the right age to learn something seriously not just for fun. Of course Mr. H is a very interesting teacher and with a lot experience!! (My daughter loves interesting teachers) I'm glad that I found him.
Hi Mr. Hirschl,
I hope you are doing well! :) It sure has been a long time since I've taken one of your classes, but I hope you'd be happy to hear that I still practice the life lessons you taught me.
My biggest hobby/addiction/enjoyment since October 2020 has been indoor cycling classes. I had had enough of doing home workouts in my apartment at Berkeley and craved an instructor to push me to perform my very best, a class schedule to keep me punctual/hold me accountable for showing up, and peers to perform alongside. For my birthday this year (I turned 21!), I got my own pair of spin shoes. Wanting to take proper care of them, I bought myself a tote bag, dedicated solely to spin, and a mesh shoe bag to store my shoes within the tote. When I reach for my spin bag, I can't help but be reminded of my ballet days using my dance bag and storing my pointe shoes in a mesh bag within. Packing it with care reminds me of preparing my dance bag the way your article "The Well-Dressed Dance Bag" instructs me to do so (water bottle, shoes, extra masks, hair ties, socks, Hairagami for when I wish to put my hair in a bun, keys, and wallet, to name a handful of items). Attached is a photo. :)
Beyond my well-dressed dance (now spin) bag, I still practice the lessons of discipline, confidence, and perseverance, among others, that I learned from hours of ballet lessons. Showing up to spin class somedays is more difficult than others while trying to balance school, work, and other responsibilities. Nonetheless I always look forward to class because, as you taught me, you'll perform better at whatever it is you're attempting if you look forward to and are excited about it. Cycling class is a commitment to myself to take care of my physical well-being, my mental health, and to have a healthy escape from reality. Some of the reasons I think I enjoy indoor cycling so much is because it, like dance, is very rhythm and music based, has choreography, requires discipline, and active mindfulness to execute proper form. Every time I clip my shoes into the bike's pedals, just like every time I went to class at HSDA, I am reminded to mentally prepare for what is to come, to leave the outside world behind for an hour, and to focus on the present in order to become a better version of myself than I was yesterday.
I hope this little update brought you a little bit of joy knowing that I still practice the lessons you taught me, no matter how long ago, in my everyday life. Unsurprisingly, I just got home from spin class, and writing this to you has been one of the highlights of my week. I have so much gratitude for you and all that ballet taught me. In regards to my former ballet days, the saying, "You'll never realize the true value of a moment until it's a memory," holds very true to me.
Dana E. Kwan
University of California, Berkeley
B.S. Chemical Engineering | Class of 2023
email@example.com | (714) 310-7960
An N. - I've been taking Adult Ballet Classes at the Hirschl Ballet for almost two months now and they are so encouraging and yet very technical (in a good way). They make sure that I understand the foundation of the movements and fix my mistakes before they become my habits. They about their students and transfer their love of ballet into us. The students in the classes are all adults and they are very supportive and encouraging. I definitely feel the positive energy every class.
J. K. - The owner of this ballet academy is a very kind man! I actually did a lesson at Hirschl earlier this year, but due to my schedule conflict I couldn't continue. The teacher was lovely and she answered all my questions. Thank your Hirschl!
Nelly N. - Amazing studio. Mr. Hirschl truly teaches dance with grace. My daughter has improved so much in ballet.
Wendi G. - My daughters have been taking lessons here for three years and they love it! Mr. Hirschl is giving my daughters an excellent foundation in classical ballet. More importantly, he cares about them as people. The other instructors are also wonderful-my girls love all of Debra Kaye's classes (Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater, and Pilates) and love Ballwork classes. I highly recommend this studio!
Alice M. - We are newbies, my four year old daughter only took two dance prep classes here but she is hooked. I've been impressed by this place and its owner. Mr. Hirschl promptly replied to my email and greeted us as we entered the studio for the first time. My daughter is a little reserved and he was great with her. He showed us around in the costume room and my daughter was absolutely fascinated. Little things like that matter to kids, she keeps asking when she'll be in the Nutcracker because she was told that is the performance they are preparing for currently. We visited a few places in the area before settling here. Most of all, I appreciate the authenticity. I am not a trained dancer but could tell that this place teaches for the sake of the art, not to make the kids chase trophies. Also, Ms. Jessica is great with the little Dance Prep Peeps:)
Bree F. - Absolutely in LOVE with this place! It's only my second week there but I already look forward to being here for many more years! I am 22 years old and wanted to find some type of physical activity I could do. I was looking around Yelp for a dance studio/class for adults and found HSDA and decided to try out a class. I could NOT be happier! Being someone who has been in competitive athletics and was a collegiate athlete, but hasn't danced since elementary, I wanted something I could pick up as an adult but still was challenging enough for me. And I was blown away my first lesson! Mr. Hirschl was so nice and calmed my nerves before the class explaining how it would work. During the class I got REAL instruction and critique by Mr. Hirschl. It felt like I was actually learning not just there to get some type of physical activity in like other "adult activities/classes". Even though I am the most beginning student in my class I do not feel out of place at all. This studio and Mr. Hirschl are dedicated to adjusting to all skill levels so never do I feel behind or like I am holding the class back. I truly believe this studio will help me advance as an adult dancer. So glad to have found this place and looking forward to dancing at this studio for a long time!
Wendy D. - I found the studio via a Group-on deal 7 years ago, looking for a studio that would be fun, encouraging, and educational, as well as having modest costumes and without the competition aspect (I have a child who is already competitive enough and I wanted to foster her teamwork skills). As a teacher and a former ballet dancer, I can attest to the quality of instruction here as top notch and it's truly a dance education. My daughter has learned not only terminology for ballet and how to move her body and be an artist, but has found a community that lifts her up and lifelong friends (and I say this as a person who dances at a traditional, strict ballet studio for almost a decade, where almost none of that was present). My family appreciates this studio being what we can put into words!
Karen C. - My daughter has been a student at the Hirschl School for six years. I have too many great things to say about this studio. Mr. Hirschl is fantastic. He is extremely knowledgeable, professional, friendly, helpful, etc. The instruction is high quality and at five years old my daughter was not only learning tap and ballet she was also learning the proper ballet terminology. She's always enjoyed the classes and has also taken classes in jazz, contemporary and lyrical. I love the non-competitive atmosphere and the feel of family. Several great instructors here; I'm so glad we found this studio.
C. R. - When my 4 year old told me she wanted to learn ballet, I knew we had to look around at serious schools, mostly because my husband is very picky about technique, a former professional dancer. Likewise, I wanted a school that emphasizes ballet technique over dance competitions. After reading Mr. H's ballet school's website, and his mission statement, I instantly thought, this school sounds perfect. After trying my daughter in Miss. Jessica's Dance-Prep class for the last 3 months, I knew this was the dance school for my daughter. She absolutely loves coming to dance class, which is really what it's all about in the end anyway.
Aia W. - We have been very pleased with the dance education my 12 year old daughter has been getting at Hirschl. I grew up dancing myself, so I was picky to start with. We started at Hirschl, tried a few other studios, as well as brief flirtations with gymnastics and musical theater, but came back to HSDA because my daughter thought Mr. H. was the best and most engaging teacher. I love that the families are all down-to-earth and friendly. My daughter takes a reasonable # of classes (5 per week, because SHE wants to... vs. some of her friends at other studios who are pressured to take 10 or more) and is progressing well - she just went en pointe this past summer and LOVES it. I agree with the earlier reviewer who said that competition studios just have a different vibe. Not necessarily wrong or bad, but just not for us. Two performance opportunities are motivating enough for her to work hard the rest of the year, and focus on growing and improving her technique and artistry. Try it - I think you'll love it!
Lynn D. - For adult ballet dancers -- beginners as well as more advanced students -- I strongly recommend this studio. There have excellent teachers and offer adult classes mornings, evenings and Saturdays, including pointe classes with adult students of all ages. This is a friendly studio, and you will find the students welcoming and supportive of everyone's progress.
Susan C. - The most technical studio you can find with ballet and theatre presence. Mr. Hirschl is pretty strict but also funny... I enjoy taking his classes and he puts me somewhere where I can be CHALLENGED. I also receive privates from instructors here and there, and they sure work me! I love it! On top of that, the recitals are very professional and the backstage hype is definitely there.
Christie M. - Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! You have made my daughter into a graceful and beautiful dancer! Two days ago, we attended the annual recital for Hirschl Ballet. My daughter was in about 7 of the dances. I could not believe the progress she has attained in only a year with Hirschl Ballet. She danced magnificently and I could not believe how amazing she looked on stage!
I am so glad for Mr. Hirschl and his staff! Your care and love for the dance arts shows in all your dancers.
Buffy Z. - My daughter has been dancing with HSDA since 2014. She is excited to be learning all the Ballet steps in French. Love the atmosphere in this studio and the dance moms are all so nice too. The owners are very good and caring people, instructors are very professional and nurturing. My daughter takes ballet, jazz, Hip-hop and tap. She spends most of her afternoons here and she would not have it any other way.
Angelica Y. - My family and I have been going to this studio since early 2014 and it's our home away from home. We all love it here. The owner, Mr. Hirschl, and his staff are very professional and caring and it's a family-like atmosphere. They have a variety of classes that range from tap, jazz, hip hop, and ballet all taught in a non-competitive environment. There are also several adult ballet classes that I love. My family and I highly recommend this studio. I noticed how confident my children have become and how dancing has helped them in their academics. I also enjoy the process of learning something new daily and watching my children blossom. Overall our experience here has been great. We highly recommend this studio for those interested in learning the art of dance.
Katrina D. - My daughter started at Hirschl in 2014. Her knowledge about ballet has grown tremendously in the 1st year. She can name the ballet moves in French (which she was unable to do before even with 7 years of dance experience). She has improved dramatically from doing the 5 positions to now dancing across the floor with beautiful ballet combinations. The teachers encourage the students to do their best and really spend a lot of time making sure the student is learning and growing. The dancers are so well prepared when they perform. It is beautiful to watch the ballet dances and the costumes are gorgeous too. We are very happy with the instruction at Hirschl Ballet.
Danielle M. - When I was five I started taking ballet lessons with Mr. H (Richard Hirschl). For at least 9 years I developed as a dancer under Mr. H's instruction. In high school I went on to Song Leading and then was captain of my college dance team. My love for dance has transferred to my daughter who now continues the family tradition at this school. They have four studios so there are multiple classes going simultaneously. This is a serious school with solid expectations for their students. Once I finish the ridiculous Spartan Race I am training for I will be re-joining the adult classes they offer as well -- I am super excited to get my ballet body back in perfect form!
Christy N. - It's my first time here and they allowed me to observe the class first before taking it. I took the evening beginner ballet classes and loved it! It's been awhile since I've danced, so the instructor was patient with me. All the staff members were really friendly. Mr. Hirschl even sent me a welcome email (I thought this was really sweet and cool of him!). Location was easy to find and parking is plenty. I highly recommend this studio for dancers of all levels!
P. K. - I can't express enough how dancing in Mr. Hirschl's class has made a positive impact on my life. The lessons learned on the dance floor most certainly change the way you see and react to the world. I count Mr. Hirschl as one of the best and most impactful teachers I've had in my life. I love the studio's philosophy that dance is a journey, not an event. It has been for me - a very wonderful one! The adult dance classes are warm and welcoming to all levels. I have made life-long friends here.
Christie M. - Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! You have made my daughter into a graceful and beautiful dancer! Two days ago, we attended the annual recital for Hirschl Ballet. My daughter was in about 7 of the dances. I could not believe the progress she has attained in only a year with Hirschl Ballet. She danced magnificently and I could not believe how amazing she looked on stage! I am so glad for Mr. Hirschl and his staff! Your care and love for the dance arts shows in all your dancers.
Emma D. - best community of dancers ever! the family we have here is awesome!
Kim S. - My daughter, Maddie, started with Hirschl School of Dance Arts in 2011, when she was five years old. What started as a "fun idea" due to a Group-on deal, has led to a serious pursuit of the dance arts. There are many things I value about the studio. The first is the proper instruction of ballet for all ages. There were no silly names for each movement, just technical terms followed by clear explanations my 5-year-old could understand. In just a few months, she knew more ballet terms that I could have imagined. Being an educator myself, a balance of education, student management and fun are essential for me. I have never been disappointed with any of those aspects. Classes are based on a curriculum, not a competition. The goal for all students is to develop a love and understanding of the dance arts, while learning proper technique in each form. This is not a competition studio, it is a school. The students at HSDA will learn, grow, and develop both physically and emotionally if they invest in themselves as much as the teachers invest in them. The second thing I noticed about the studio was the friendly atmosphere. HSDA is a family where each person genuinely wants to see the others progress and succeed. The underlying thread in every lesson at Hirschl's is the development of the person within the student. Students are taught etiquette and respect and are shown that same respect in return. At some studios, students are taught to leave their baggage at the door. At HSDA, students are taught to dance through and with their baggage to develop a deeper understanding of and connection with the art, while still respecting each challenge they may face. The teachers will stretch and push students, but more importantly, will instill a drive which inspires them to push themselves to the next level. My daughter has grown as a dancer and a young lady in the 7 years she has been at the Hirschl School of Dance Arts, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Christie M. - After some less than favorable experiences at some very well known and "prestigious" studios, we found Hirschl Ballet. We had purchased a LivingSocial deal and thought we would check it out.
After the first class, my daughter fell in love with the school and the owner. She said she has never felt so appreciated as a dancer. Note, she is 12 and has been dancing up to 16 classes a week since 3 years old. She tells me that the owner, Mr. Hirschl is a great communicator and motivator. He does not make the dancers feel bad if they mess up but encourages them to keep pushing forward to improve their skills. My daughter joined Hirschl Ballet and had been ready for en pointe but Mr. Hirschl would not just allow her to dance en pointe without ensuring her ankles were strong enough; A huge changes from many other studios.
Mr. Hirschl is a caring owner and instructor and my daughter loves Debbie also! She has improved immensely in her dance technique and I can't seem to get her out of her dance shoes even at home. Because of Hirschl Dance Arts, Gloria (my daughter) has a renewed love of dance. The studio, staff, and owner are devoted to the education of dance and not just being a business - and it shows!
If you are looking for a studio for competitions - this is not the place. But, if you want your child or yourself to feel nurtured, cared for, and given the best dance education, Hirschl is the place. **Note - please be careful when joining studios focused on competitions. In our experience, technique is not pushed and this can endanger the dancer - which happened to my daughter. Also, if you don't join the competition teams, it can feel as though you are not a valued customer and you are ignored.
Imee M: SBT members are cared for in an environment of discipline and encouragement, combined with a sense of belonging/family. Focused in the love for the dance arts, and in true corps de ballet spirit, each member is made to feel important, and is privileged to work as a team. SBT products have been recognized by national companies for their technique and abilities, thanks to Hirschl School of Dance Arts faculty/classes and directors Laurie and Richard Hirschl. Choreography and performance are high in standard.
Anita S: The Sunrise Ballet is a great pre-professional ballet company. The level of excellence is apparent. The teachers are very encouraging of the students' pursuits and know how to help them reach their goals. The atmosphere of the studio is one of support and teamwork as opposed to the competitive and arrogant hierarchy of other dance environments. Truly, this is a company that exists for their love of the art, the students, and the community.
Wendy M: Sunrise Ballet Theatre and Hirschl School of Dance Arts have provided my daughter with excellent technical dance skills, but more importantly have inspired her to be her best in everything she does. The teaching staff are wonderful, like an extended family who truly care about the individual dancers and their best interests. They have given my daughter more than ten years of top notch training, enthusiastic support for her personal development, and most of all, friendships that will last a lifetime. Their philosophy allows each dancer to achieve their best results, without being overly competitive. As my daughter finishes her final year with SBT and HSDA before leaving for college, I send heartfelt thanks to Richard and Laurie for the years of dedication, love and support. It has meant the world to my daughter to be a part of such a wonderful organization.
Julia D: I started going here when I was 12 with hardly any dance experience. I was freaking out when I enrolled for a class with girls my same age who had been dancing there practically their whole lives. Turns out I had nothing to be afraid of :) this studio is like an ideal family. I'm almost 17 now & dancing with the Sunrise Ballet company thanks to the inspiring, supportive teachers & students there. The lack of competition leaves you to push yourself to be your own best, not "better than her." Everyone is very open and loving and we work very, VERY hard. The Hirschl School of Dance Arts is my second home where I can be who I want to be. I would recommend it to anyone of any age -- you'll find a new home, too :)
Erika K: Sunrise Ballet performs the best Nutcracker in OC! The choreography, costumes, interpretation, and most of all the dancing, are absolutely stellar. Unless you want to shell out the cash ($75 and above) to go to the Performing Arts Center, then this is your best bet for a family holiday tradition. The Sunrise dancers are so talented, and the younger dancers are mixed in well to please their parents, but not to bore the rest of the audience. The Sunrise Ballet is a truly fantastic company!
Shannon E: My daughter attends 2 classes a week here and has improved SO much. The quality of the teachers, the affordability of the classes and the 'family' feeling of the studio sets it apart from the rest.
Julie S: We absolutely love Hirschl Ballet! The studio is professional, friendly and caring, with a high caliber dance program. Our daughter thinks that Mr. Hirschl is the best teacher in the world!
Sophie O: I wanted to take the time to say thank you. Both of you have always inspired me to dance with all my heart and soul. I’ve enjoyed every class and I will never forget this wonderful studio. Thank you. (a note as she was leaving to go out of state to college)
Kate G: I have enjoyed and learned something from every single lesson I’ve taken at the studio– every one has been worthwhile.
Erin F: I want you to know how much I really appreciate this last ten years, and the contribution you have made to my life, as well as the lives of many others. When I first came to the studio, dance was just a fun activity, something to after school. But as the years have gone by, I have begun to realize what I was really getting from it: a real education. An education in how to think, how to feel, and how to express those feelings. It is something I am very thankful to have experienced. Both of you have been such a big part of my life for so long, I hope I can continue it even when I am miles away. Thank you for all the education, love and support you have given. I will miss you so much, but I promise to come back and visit! Best wishes for the years to come. (Erin moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in commercial art)
Sarah M: I have many goals for myself. HSDA has helped me reach many, and set new and higher goals. I’ve learned to respect myself, the art form, and the dance community.
Rhonda R: The Hirschl School of Dance Arts has given our daughter a sense of belonging. She began at a very young age and has grown into a "company" dancer with the school. While we can't get her to clean her room, we can't get her to stop dancing, she even dances in her head on the way to the Hirschl school! She has high respect for her teachers and classmates and they are her extended family members. We also believe her disciplined dance regimen has contributed to her ability to receive high marks in her academics as well. Thank you Mr. Hirschl for providing a place where our daughter lives out her dreams! (Daughter went on to dance with Joffrey Ballet)
Durandy M: My Hero, Mr. Hirschl. My ballet teacher is my hero. Read this poem and you’ll see why I picked him: " He makes learning fun and easy by translating the French. I like him because he spends time with the kids and he does the steps too. Respect is special at his school. His Sunrise Ballet gives to the Community. My hero is special to me because he loves dance arts. “Let’s Dance!” is special to me because he makes it fun.