Sonoma Conservatory Of Dance

Sonoma Conservatory Of Dance

6 employees
52 years in business

About this pro

Sonoma Conservatory of Dance fosters curiosity, creativity, joy and compassion, through the art and discipline of dance in a learning environment that ignites the creative spirit.

Originally Founded as Sonoma Ballet Conservatory in 1970, Patricia O’Reilly reenvisioned the studio as Sonoma Conservatory of Dance in 2005 after 12 years of directing the Vallejo Ballet Conservatory, which she had founded in 1993. Under the Artistic Direction of Ms. O’Reilly, SCD continues to offer the very highest quality classical ballet and dance instruction to youth and adults.

In 2016, Sonoma Conservatory of Dance transitioned into a public benefit corporation to better serve the community of Sonoma and to more effectively fulfill its mission of providing the youth (and adults) of Sonoma Valley and beyond an opportunity to grow artistically and technically through participation in our classes and productions.

As a nonprofit, we are able to serve as many students as possible regardless of financial circumstances. Our students grow as they train together under the mentorship of an excellent artistic staff who create an outstanding classroom environment as well as high-quality performances that we share with the public, thereby enhancing each student’s sense of self-mastery.

We expose students and audiences to a mix of culture through music, and dance and our full-length productions offer a blend of classical ballet with other cultural themes.  Through our performances, we provide the community with an opportunity to gather together and enjoy an inspiring, enchanting event.

The studio’s students have been accepted into the most prestigious dance programs both locally, nationally and internationally, including: American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, and Royal Ballet School of Antwerp.

Other Notable Programs Include:

Boston BalletLINES Ballet, Colorado Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Orlando Ballet, Ballet West, Nutmeg Conservatory of the Arts, The Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Dance, Marymount Manhattan College Dance Department, and The Royal Ballet School of London.

To date, SCD students have competed in the Genée International Ballet Competition, Youth America Grand Prix and the RAD Dance Challenge.

Since the age of 7, I've had a love affair with ballet and dance of all kinds.  For me, this is a vocation and a passion.  I feel blessed to see our students learning life lessons that will benefit them on and off the dance floor.  I feel blessed to be able to share what I believe is the transformative power of dance with the students and families of Sonoma Conservatory of Dance. ~ Patty O'Reilly, Artistic Director

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Sonoma, CA 95476
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

The first class is FREE and the second trial class is only $10.  After that, studdents who wish enroll at the studio in the class level that is most appropriate for their age and ability.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

SCD's Artistic Director, Patricia O'Reilly, holds a teaching credential from the Royal Academy of Dance and completes 16 hours per year of Continuing Professional Development.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

The pricing of our lessons can be found on our website (  Just click the "Classes & Registration" tab and then the "Tuition" option.  For qualifying families, SCD does have financial aid available.

How did you get started teaching?

I began teaching as a way to earn a little extra money while dancing ballet professionally.  I soon learned that I loved teaching!  By age 25, I had retired from performing in order to focus on developing my teaching skills.  I now have over 30 years of experience and can honestly say that I love teaching more now than when I first began.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with all ages and abilities.  I have worked with students on the autism spectrum as well.  I believe every student who steps onto the dance floor deserves attention from the teacher.  While I do work with students who wish to pursue dance professionally, I also work with students who enjoy dance as a fun, challenging creative outlet.  I also work with students who are needing to be retrained from prior poor techinical ballet training.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I love seeing when a student figures something out . . . something they have been working on for awhile and then it clicks.  The sense of self-mastery and self-confidence that they gain from working patiently and diligently still humbles me.  It is that sort of experience that makes me say that dance has a transformative power and I am honored to share that power with my students.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Make sure that the teacher understands the developmental and emotional needs of the students.  Make sure that they are teaching from an anatomically correct place so that the student's physical body is not compromised in any way.  When the physical body is trained improperly not only can this lead to injury but it can also lead to broken dreams.  Also, see the answer to the next question.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

I encourge students and/or their parents to remember that even recreational dancers have the right and deserve to be trained in safest practices to create the maximum amount of enjoyment and the minimum amount of risk of injury.  

While a hairdresser needs a certification in order to cut hair (which grows back in a matter of days/weeks), anyone is legally allowed to teach dance.  Make sure that your teacher doesn't just talk a good talk but actually knows what s/he is doing.

Lessons offered

Dance Classes Ballet Classes Hip Hop Dance Classes Jazz Dancing Classes Contemporary Dance Classes Modern Dance Classes