October 20, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

The Venice Dance School Making Moves in the Community


Friday afternoons in Venice is not just for hipsters and happy hours. There is also a happening for the tiny set,  just behind Abbot Kinney. Beginning at 3pm on Fridays inside the dance studio at Electric Lodge you’ll hear Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, old school Jackson Five, and see a sea of pink as JillyJazz Kids swings into action.

Neighborhood children arrive by strollers, scooters, bikes, and by foot to dance with professional dancers, Marina Munoz and Jill Strauss. Jill has been teaching adults and teens at Electric Lodge for 20 years. JillyJazz Kids is in it’s fourth year and is the creation of Strauss and Kendell Shaffer, a local Venice mom and dancer, who dreamed of a community minded dance program for Venice.

Strauss and Shaffer are both former students of dance master Luigi in New York City. The Friday classes are full of spinning and leaping little ones, ages 3-12, who are often spotted at Abbot’s Pizza or N’ice Cream following their classes. It’s a great way for the kids to spend a jazzy Friday afternoon in Venice.

Two years ago, JillyJazz Kids took on it’s first scholarship student, a nine year-old from the Neighborhood Youth Association for at-risk kids in Venice. She has been on full scholarship at JJK for two years and Jill recently extended her scholarship to include a 5-week intensive workshop at Crossroads School, where her training now includes ballet, tap and musical theater, all taught by professional dancers and teachers.

JillyJazz Kids Elva Kubiak Taylor Mah Ema Luna Pacheco
Scholarship Recipients: Elva Kubiak, Tema Luna Pacheco, and Taylor Mah

Strauss say that, “JillyJazz Kids feel that all students, no
 matter what their income, should have
 the opportunity to dance,” and beginning in
 2016, JJK will increase
 it’s scholarship program on Friday awarding three 9-12 year old
 students, who have been with JJK since
 the beginning and who show a passion
 to learn, a partial scholarship.

These three students will become JJK Ambassadors and will help in assisting the teacher in class and have responsibilities outside of class. For example, organizing the Lost and Found, sweeping the studio and welcoming new students.

JillyJazz Kids Scholarship Participants
Kubiak, Pacheco, and Mah, with their teacher Marina Munoz, and Meredith Gruszka from Pardee Properties.

This year Pardee Properties is partnering up to fund the First Annual Ambassador Scholarship, awarding scholarships to Taylor Mah, Tema Luna Pacheco, Elva Kubiak. All 5th grade students at Westminster Elementary, and all born and raised in Venice. These three girls have been with JillyJazz Kids since it’s inception and have not missed a class since.

JJK hopes to build it’s scholarship program with other neighborhood sponsors to open up more scholarships to new students in the future.

Related Posts

Swimmer Abby Bergman is Fourth Person to Cross Santa Monica Bay

October 2, 2020

October 2, 2020

On September 3, Abby Bergman succeeded in swimming solo 27 miles across Santa Monica Bay in 16 hours 25 minutes...

Edify TV: National Women’s Health and Fitness Day!

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

September 30th marks National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, Here are a few fun activities to try out in celebration...

COVID-19 Could Have Been in Los Angeles as Early as Last December

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

UCLA study reports significant increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure prior to first official cases of COVID-19 By Sam...

Meditation Changed my Brain

September 8, 2020

September 8, 2020

I know the title sounds like something from the National Enquirer. But it’s true. When COVID was first announced and...

UCLA Study Finds Single-Use N95 Respirators Can Be Decontaminated and Used Again

September 1, 2020

September 1, 2020

N95 respirators, which are widely worn by health care workers treating patients with COVID-19 and are designed to be used only once,...

Edify TV: Should Muscle Beach Re-Open?

August 17, 2020

August 17, 2020

The original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica is a local and tourist favorite for working out and people watching, since...

VNC Offers Disapproval of Venice Wave Apartments

July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020 1

July Venice Neighborhood Council recap, part 1 By Angela McGregor The July, 2020 VNC Board Meeting — held via Zoom...

LA County’s Highest Single-Day COVID-19 Case Count Reported

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020 2

One in every 140 people in the county has the virus and is infectious, say LA County health officials By...

Venice Now Included in Los Angeles Curfew

May 30, 2020

May 30, 2020 1

Protests against the police killing of George Floyd continue By Sam Catanzaro A City of Los Angeles curfew has been...

Los Angeles Parks to Close Easter

April 8, 2020

April 8, 2020 1

Over COVID-19 cases in LA County By Sam Catanzaro The City of Los Angeles is closing all parks for Easter...

Los Angeles Residents Told to Stay Home

March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

2nd COVID-19 death confirmed By Sam Catanzaro As public health officials confirmed the second death resulting from COVID-19, Los Angeles...

Lawsuit Contends Lawmakers Failing to Protect Homeless Amid COVID-19

March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

Garcetti announces plan to provide thousands of beds in City rec. centers By Sam Catanzaro As Los Angeles plans to...

Los Angeles Issuing Microloans to Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

Additional cases confirmed in Venice By Sam Catanzaro As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to grow, including additional...