At The Barclay Classes, children learn so much more than dancing!

The gift of enrollment in The Barclay Classes will prove to be invaluable throughout your child’s life. 

For generations, we have helped our students develop the social skills and confidence that are so important in helping them grow into well-mannered young adults.

The dance classes were started in 1930 by Miss Jesse Dotterer. John Barclay took over shortly thereafter and gave the classes his name. William Thomson (pictured) joined Mr. Barclay in 1956, and together they developed our program as it is today. Mr. Thomson ultimately took over the classes, and led the program until his death in 1991. His widow, Lois (pictured), has successfully continued to guide the program, which is currently offered in 19 communities across five states.

   We show them how to make a good first impression by being able to confidently shake hands and introduce themselves with a firm handshake and good eye contact.

Table manners are included in the program. All dining courtesies at home, at a friend’s house and at every type of restaurant will be discussed. Topics covered will include place settings, utensils, napkins, proper handling of food, polite behavior at the table, seating, cell phones, elbows off the table, baseball caps and dining conversation.  

Our Middle School program In order to provide a more varied program, a special series of theme nights has been planned to emphasize a new learning experience. There is seating at tables, and refreshments are served at each session. We realize that, at this age, the girls and boys are eager to socialize. This special program provides the students a wonderful way to interact socially with one another as well as develop social confidence, learn more advanced dancing, and learn table manners and all other aspects of social etiquette.

We feel our program has a very worthwhile place in a child’s social development. The combination of dance and manners in the classes makes for a wonderful experience that your children will draw from throughout their lives, distinguishing them from others.   



The Barclay Classes are held in an atmosphere conducive to learning self-control and good manners. Confidence, poise and good manners learned early in life stay with us forever and will distinguish your child in any social, business or academic situation.

We use ballroom dancing as our teaching vehicle. The classes are conducted in a party atmosphere, using games to keep the children engaged. Being confident and relaxed with dancing will prove to make all future social events for your child fun and enjoyable.

Manners in other social situations is also part of the program. At each class a different topic will be covered including: introductions of peers to parents and other adults; respectful behavior at various types of social gatherings; telephone manners; manners for today’s personal electronics equipment; taking pride in one’s appearance.

The children learn to sit and have polite conversation. At each class a simple topic is given to them to discuss with their partner, thus the beginning of developing an ease with the art of “small talk”. This is especially important for the shy child as they learn how to socialize with other children they do not know very well.


The Barclay Classes   P.O. Box 338, Westfield, NJ 07091   (908) 232 - 8370