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Ballet  Lyrical Jazz  HipHop  Contemporary Technique pointe accro

Built on a foundation of over 30 years, Liv DanceArts is a technique driven dance program located in Belmont California. We are a studio dedicated to exemplary dance instruction for students aged 3 and up offering classes directed by professional level teachers with long standing careers and degrees in dance performance and pedagogy. We strive to maintain a small intimate dance studio experience where students are truly individually known by the faculty and given the opportunity to grow and thrive as future performing artists.

LDA has been a National Dance Education Organization studio since 2018 and were inducted into the National Honor Society of Dance Arts in 2019. Our competitive program "LDA Elite" brought home the ADCC Studio Of Excellence Award for a second year in a row this year, as well as two Technical Excellence Achievement Awards from the Starboard and Legacy organizations. Nexstar named LDA a 2022 and 2023 Diamond Studio Recipient, and our dancers took Grand Champion with the Epic Organization in 2022 and 2023. LDA was awarded Highest Scoring Studio at Encore 2023 and won two Power Ranking top 3 Awards for the state of California from Starpower.

LDA students go on to flourish in top ranked dance universities, conservatories, and professional communities as well as on film and stage. We offer classes for beginners through professionals. Classes fill quickly during our registration months of August, December and June ~ contact us today for availability or to schedule a placement appointment!


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Liv DanceArts was originally founded in 1987 as Professional Ballet School by Dutch National and San Francisco Ballet artists

Carmela Peter (pictured right) and Zoltan Peter.

In 2010 NYU trained Dance Educator Kristen Portner partnered with PBS to create an award winning Competitive Program as well as a fully collaborative Jazz and Lyrical curriculum based on a strong Ballet foundation and focused in artistic expression and choreography. In 2017 Kristen stepped in as the Artistic Director of the newly created Liv DanceArts, PBS collaboration.

The LDA faculty is comprised of teachers who have danced with world-renown companies, taught for the highest caliber university and private dance programming in the country, and have been recognized by major dance publications. Our program is based in Ballet and offers classes in a range of classical and contemporary genres.

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Brittney Wassermann

I myself was a student of PBS from the age of eight. I received all of my training from the world class instructors and went on to dance professionally. After my career finished I then went on to be an instructor for the school and now teach Advanced Ballet and Elite classes for LDA. I'm on the board and have my own two girls attending technique and competitive classes here.


I have been a part of this family in some manner for 31 years! I can't say enough great things about my journey with them.

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Laura Sabahi

My daughter started dancing here when she was just 4 years old.  We were thrilled to find a program that was teaching true ballet technique and terminology from the start.  She quickly began expanding her interest in dance and by the age of 6 she was studying Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz and Contemporary.  She was also invited to audition for the competitive team at that time. This is when our family became familiar with Kristen Portner who was her lyrical teacher and the Director of the competitive program.   When it was announced that Kris would be buying the studio and taking over as the new Owner and Artistic Director of the newly established Liv DanceArts, Professional Ballet school, I was thrilled.  She had not only proven herself as an exceptional teacher and mentor but as an incredible leader with an exciting vision for the studios future. 


After hearing what she had planned, I humbly accepted a position as her Studio Manager believing whole heartedly in her vision for the school's next chapter.  The LDA teachers are truly one of a kind.  They are strong supportive dance educators with the knowledge and passion needed to develop aspiring pre- professional dancers. 


I can tell you first hand that this is a studio like no other.  It’s a true dance family. As a result of the incredible training my daughter has received from Kristen Portner and her amazing team she has been accepted into a highly acclaimed year round pre-pro ballet program in Los Angeles.  We will be forever thankful for the years of impeccable training and time spent at LDA and the positive impact it has had on our lives.  Our family will confidently and happily continue to support this special program in the years to come.  

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Ria Palarca

Liv DanceArts will always be a special place not only for my daughter but for our entire family.


My daughter attended two other dance schools in the area before we discovered Professional Ballet School, now Liv DanceArts (LDA), at the age of seven.  The moment she walked through the studio doors and tried out a ballet class with Kristen Portner (LDAs Artistic Director), we knew she would be in it for the long haul.  She has been an LDA student for ten years and is now a proud alumni! 

What started as a ballet and jazz class evolved into training in multiple genres a week consisting of lyrical, contemporary, and hip-hop.  In addition, she was selected to be one of the original members of LDAs competitive dance team that started in 2013 which required additional time, commitment, and dedication. 


We have always believed in LDA's mission which is quality over quantity.  It is a small dance community with a strong focus on technique and development.  It gave my daughter a sense of belonging with those who also shared the same passion for dance and a safe place where she would often call it her other home.  LDAs talented teaching staff is like no other!  They come from extensive dance training and education, and I always admired their determination in helping dancers grow into young artists year after year. We witnessed this during their winter and spring performances and their competitive season.  These events always brought my family together, near and far! They always looked forward to their amazing shows, and I could always count on their support for my daughter and the studio!


Because of the vast training and discipline my daughter has gained through LDAs staff and, most especially through the mentorship and guidance under Kristen Portner, she was accepted into two of the most competitive dance college programs in the nation.  She is now attending Pace University in NYC, majoring in their BFA Commercial Dance program, where 40 students were accepted and over 1,000+ applicants! This is a significant achievement; she could not have gotten there alone.

LDA gave my daughter the wings to soar, and I will forever be grateful for the dance education she has received and the lifelong friendships built throughout her time there.

San Francisco Ballet


The Colburn School,

Los Angeles

Ballet San Jose


Kansas City Ballet 

Oregon Ballet Theatre

Company C Contemporary Ballet

Dance Aspen


Honolulu Ballet Theatre




Peninsula Ballet Theatre

North Carolina School of the Arts

Dance Magazine

LMU Dance Department

UCSB Dance Department

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The Rockettes


Smuin Ballet


PACE Manhattan University Commercial Dance BFA Program

Western Ballet


Houston Ballet


Menlowe Ballet


The Television Show “Glee”

University of the Arts,


Charles Moulton

UCLA Dance Department

Pacific Northwest

Princeton Ballet

Oakland Ballet

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NYU, Tisch

Oklahoma University Department of Ballet

San Diego State University Department of Dance

The School of American Ballet

American Ballet Theatre

Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida

Joffrey Ballet

Boston Ballet

The Kirov Institute

Pennsylvania Ballet

Michigan University Dance


and more...

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