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 Barclay Classes have a long and storied history. They began under the direction of Miss Jesse Dotterer in Summit, New Jersey in 1930. John Barclay took over shortly thereafter and gave the classes his name. He was joined in 1956 by William Thomson (below), who took over the program in the early 1970s, joined by his wife Lois (below, r). Upon Mr. Thomson's death in 1991, their son-in-law Dennis Kelley joined the Barclay staff, and along with Regina Zadourian and Peter Michaels, under Mrs. Thomson's direction The Barclay Classes entered the 21st century. Mr. Kelley became the company's Director in 2021. The program currently offers classes in 11 communities across the Northeast.

   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 Theme Night Program A special series of theme nights has been planned to bring our older students an expanded learning experience. We realize that, at this age, the girls and boys are eager to socialize. This special program provides the students, who are seated at tables, a wonderful opportunity to interact socially with one another as they develop social confidence, learn more advanced dancing and table manners, and all other aspects of social etiquette in a relaxed atmosphere.

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