Founded in 1942, the Civic Dance Arts Program of the San Diego Park and Recreation Department has introduced hundreds of thousands of citizens to the art form of dance. High quality classes are offered at 22 city recreation centers and Balboa Park facilities at affordable prices (and in some instances with fees waived), enabling children and adults from all economic and cultural backgrounds full participation in the study of dance. Beginning- Pre-professional level instruction is offered in disciplines such as jazz, tap, ballet, modern, hip hop and musical theater. Civic Dance Arts emulates the highest standards of nationally renowned private and non-profit programs; a program which now attracts the highest caliber instructional and student talent while providing instruction at the least cost in the community.
Its mission is to support and promote a premiere dance arts program and an appreciation for the arts. Civic Dance Arts program provides year round performance opportunities to its four performing level companies and 3,000 recreational level students. Performance highlights of the year include December Nights, Spring recitals, Free Night of Theater, and the award winning Collage dance concert each January/February at the Casa del Prado Theater in Balboa Park.