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Best Place to Watch Kids Go Wild: The wee ones shake off their demons 

Kids 'N Dance

Kids 'N Dance is a bright spot on MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland's up-and-coming Laurel District. Opened last summer by Kris Mueller, who lives in the neighborhood, the cheery studio offers fun dance classes with encouraging, upbeat teachers for kids as young as three. The program has long been in preschools and grade schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, as well as at the Lafayette Dance Center and the Orinda Community Center. While most of the students are girls, the sprinkling of boys who take the classes also enjoy the music, hopping around and looking at themselves in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors. The incredibly dedicated Mueller creates all of the dance costumes herself, and makes sure outfits are never repeated during an eight-week session. What kid doesn't get excited about dancing in kimonos, magic capes, and Nutcracker-style tutus? Parents can sit on a bench surrounded by toys for the younger siblings who tag along. Or Mueller will call you on your cell if you want to step out for a cup of coffee at World Grounds across the street.

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