Pacific Arts Dance Center thriving at new location in San Diego/Carmel Valley


From the pre-ballet babies to the popular adult ballet classes on weekday mornings, the new Pacific Arts Dance Center has been a hit.

After eight and 13 years respectively in their previous locations, Del Mar Ballet and Royal Academy of Performing Arts joined forces in August 2017 and moved into their brand new studio in Carmel Valley in early November. They have created one dance community, looking to inspire and make a positive difference in the life of dancers of all ages.

“We have accomplished so much, I can’t even believe it,” said Artistic Director Marie Arts, who owns the studio with Francine Garton.

Located on the second floor of the new Merge building at the corner of Carmel Mountain Road and Carmel Country Road, dancers take classes in studios with big picture windows with vista views. The largest dance studio doubles as an indoor/outdoor performance space, complete with state-of-the-art lighting and sound.

“Being in the neighborhood setting, we’re getting a lot of new young kids,” Arts said. “A second story studio is very unique so it’s catching people’s eyes as they drive by. We get walk-ins every day.”

The last few months have been a whirl of activity, Arts said.

In December, they put on “The Nutcracker” with a cast of 120 dancers and the competition teams have been successful in making their mark on the competitive stage with the trophies to prove it on display in the bright studio lobby.

On April 28, their large studio transformed into a theater for an “Imaginarium,” the first performance in the new space featuring the ballet academy and competition team dancers.

“It worked out exactly how we envisioned,” said Arts of the performance in which about 100 guests sat in the studio and out on the balcony looking onto the stage. “It was a hit. It was gorgeous choreography, the dancers were beautiful, it was a tight show and everything worked.”

“Imaginarium” was also live-streamed, allowing family members from out of town and internationally to catch the show online.

The studio is also buzzing as Pacific Arts is gearing up for its first big end-of-the-year recital gala on June 16 at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. Every genre of dance and all ages and levels of dancers at the studio will perform in a matinee and evening show.

Arts is looking forward to a packed schedule this summer.

Pacific Art’s “Summer Spectacular” includes summer dance camps, advance ballet intensives, workshops, movie nights and guest artists like Christopher Howard, a Broadway dancer, choreographer and dance captain in the first national tour of “An American in Paris.”

Howard already paid a visit to the studio in May and collaborated with Arts to help put together the opening number for the upcoming recital.

Arts said one of the big undertakings for the new studio has been working to formalize its curriculum so dancers will know the pathways in which they can go — whether they want to be on a fun ballet, jazz or hip hop track or if they are looking to go the route of the more serious ballet academy or competition team which require auditions. The studio will hold auditions for the ballet academy on May 19 and for the competition teams on June 9.

Anyone interested in checking out what Pacific Arts is always welcome to drop in for a trial class. Pacific Arts Dance Center is located at 5550 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 210, San Diego (Carmel Valley area). For more information, visit or call (858) 264-ARTS (2787).

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