Our Advantage

Debbie's Dancers at the Greater Des Moines Civic Center

"From Basics to Broadway," Betty Hill Dance has brought six decades of dance excellence to thousands of families in Central Iowa. Based on cutting-edge creativity, age-appropriate instruction, and clean-cut family entertainment, we have established a foundation of educational progress, theatrical excitement, and professional service to our community.

Our families come to us because of
“The BHD Advantage.”


You Get Experience.

We’ve been in business since 1955, and we have staying power. We’re known throughout central Iowa and beyond for our happy classes, great performances, and reasonable prices. Our long-standing relationships in the community enable us to bring you a quality dance education at family prices, with generous discounts for additional classes.

We love kids, and we have a passion for dance, which creates a happy and positive environment. When our dancers start their own families, they bring their children back to us because they know they’ll get “The BHD Advantage of experience and enthusiasm.

You Get Age-Appropriate.

We respect kids, and we know how to work with their developing ages and abilities.

·       As preschoolers, children need to learn “how to learn”, and that’s what we teach. We work on the large and small motor skills that research shows will transfer to reading readiness. We harness their natural love of music and movement, and we begin them on their journey to increase self-expression, focus, teambuilding, and confidence.

·       As children grow, they need a developing series of skill sets and that’s what we teach. This gives them the physical skills that transfer into sports, drama, music, and leadership roles within their schools. They also develop socially, making friends with dancers throughout the community. Sometimes their "dance-mates" become lifelong friends.

·       As teenagers, they’re ready to soar, and they need to feel the power and confidence that comes from being comfortable in their own skin—but never at the expense of being in good taste. We teach them that they can be bold, glamorous, and exciting without being inappropriate.

Our dance families get “The BHD Advantage of theatrical excitement and cutting-edge entertainment combined with clean-cut costumes, music, lyrics, and moves. We’re out of the box without crossing the line.”

 You Get Convenience.

We have two locations and four classrooms to serve you better and reduce class size. You get multiple class times to fit your schedule. We offer many “back-to back” classes so our dancers can conveniently add classes while helping simplify their family schedules. If you are ill or out of town, we have many makeup classes you can attend to keep current.

We are a full-service dance studio, with a receptionist on duty for the safety of your children and to answer parent questions. We offer a payment plan to equalize your tuition and fees throughout the dance season. You may pay in person, by mail, by credit card, or by automatic withdrawal.

We communicate! Our Dance Flash newsletter, website and social media pages keep you in the loop. We answer our emails—and our phones—and our office is open Monday through Friday 10 to 5, as well as during classes on weekday evenings and Saturdays.

You Get Creativity.

We’re innovators. For decades we’ve received national recognition for our originality in costuming, choreography, and music. We have our finger on the pulse of dance, music, and theater, and we’re inspired by what’s new, but we don’t blindly follow fads. We use our creativity to blend innovation with tradition, giving our dancers and their families the best of both worlds.

Our preschool program, Boys Club, Dance Camps, State Fair shows, Christmas Show, musical theater emphasis, performing groups, breakdancing and hip-hop, boy-girl partnering, and lyrical dance have pioneered the way for these dance styles and programs in central Iowa and beyond.


You Get Professional.

You benefit from our expertise. You get trained professionals who know how to teach and how to run a business. We know tips and strategies to help kids learn. We know how to organize our performances to keep audiences entertained with a variety of styles, fast-paced transitions, a Broadway-quality environment, and first-class stage effects.

You get a professional, Broadway-styled performance. Our students dance on the same stage graced by the legends of dance and theatre. The privilege of performing at the Civic Center, sharing the dressing rooms of the stars, the excitement of opening night, the glamour of a full-fledged theatrical stage—nothing can compare to it!  

Most of our teachers have teaching degrees and bring that professionalism into the classroom.  Debbie Westphal Swander, our owner-director for over thirty-five years, has a permanent Iowa teaching license, a Masters in Business Administration, and as an artist, has choreographed thousands of dances of all styles and for all ages including award-winning ballet, tap, jazz, partnering, and acrobatics. Few studios throughout the nation have that caliber of leadership.

One of our teachers said it best:
"Dance was the best gift my parents ever gave me."
It's the gift that lasts a lifetime.

At Betty Hill Dance we have the complete package. We’re experienced, age-appropriate, convenient, professional, and creative. Add to this our love of kids and our passion for dance and you get

“The Betty Hill Dance Advantage!”

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