Private Coaching Program

After many years of teaching, coaching, and private lessons I believe the secret for dancers is private one-on-one training. I have watched dancers improve tremendously in their dancing, technique, and artistry. Private Coaching is an extremely beneficial tool for ballet students. It helps them retain correction, gain knowledge they can apply in a larger class settings, and self confidence. 

What Is It?  

Our Private Coaching Program provides one-on-one training tailored to the needs of the dancer as an individual.

What To Expect? 

 The private coaching is an hour session, and normally scheduled during the weekend. We assess the dancer and tailor the lesson towards what will enhance their dancing. This includes correct placement, alignment, correcting movement patterns, and understanding proper technique and how to execute it. We work on conditioning exercises using Pilates, strength training for dancers, as well as flexibility.  This gives dancers the tools to prevent injuries which prepares them for a healthy dance journey. 

Who Is It For?  

The Private Coaching program is for dancers who want to improve, excel, and become the best dancer they can be. Also for dancers in need of coaching for competitions, college audition preparation, summer program video submissions, or pre- professional programs, and choreography. We begin private coaching at age nine years old. You DO NOT have to be a student at MCD to benefit from the Private Coaching Program. 

How does the dancer benefit?

This can aid in a dancer attaining their personal and pre-professional goals and most of all it instills confidence.

 Some of the dancers involved in the Private Coaching Program may be invited to join Ms. Melinda at Youth American Grand Prix Competition either as an Individual Participant represented by Ms. Melinda as a Coach or apart of MCD as a Conservatory. We attend YAGP in January yearly. 


YAGP is The Worlds Largest Global Network of Dance, and provides many opportunities for the aspiring ballerina. For further information about YAGP please visit 

Costs and Commitment?

We provide several options to fit your needs as a dancer. The key to ballet is repetition and consistency, with our format you will get the results you desire! 

Teachers available for private coaching are Melinda Neal for higher level dancers ages 13 and up and Leilani Neal for beginners or children under the age of 12. Ms. Leilani also coaches competition dancers who's focus is in jazz and contemporary. (Bio in Teacher tab) 

Scheduling mainly takes place on the weekend. 

Single Private - $130  

Monthly Options 

Four Session Package/ 1 month- $480 ($120/ session)

Eight Session Package/2 month- $920 ($115/session)

Twelve Session Package/3 month - $1260 ( $105/session)

Sixteen Session Package/4 month-$1600 ( $100/session) 

*Packages must be paid in full by the first session. 

*Private Coaching Sessions require 12 hour advance notice for rescheduling or cancellation.  

*No refunds available for sessions.

*When booking Packages they must be scheduled weekly and consecutively. *Packages cannot be spread out over many weeks the only exception is for holiday breaks.  

Help your dancer excel today!

Private Coaching Testimonials

Grace Bardwick

Caroline Connolly

Caroline Connolly


Melinda Neal is a true ballet professional, an incredible mentor for my teenage daughter and skillful in knowing what each dancer needs to excel.  Grace has been dancing with Ms. Melinda for over five years.  Ms. Melinda skillfully prepared Grace for a summer dance intensive audition three years ago and Grace was awarded a position in the program. My daughter’s relationship with Ms. Melinda has been a positive and transformational one.  Three years ago, Grace was diagnosed with a genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos.  While this disorder makes Grace very flexible and a beautiful dancer, it has caused issues with her back and right hip.  Through private coaching with Ms. Melinda, Grace fully recovered from back surgery and returned to ballet - her passion.  Grace will have hip surgery this November, so Ms. Melinda has created Pilates reformer and strength training routines, so Grace can remain in shape and have a quicker recovery. Grace has learned a lot about resilience and recovery from Ms. Melinda who has successfully overcome her own injuries to have a long professional career.  Our family is very fortunate to have Ms. Melinda and MCD in our lives!  We are forever grateful to her.  

Whitney Bardwick

daughter Grace, 18 years old 

Current Student of Ms. Melinda 

Caroline Connolly

Caroline Connolly

Caroline Connolly


"Melinda is a rare teacher.  She offers disciplined, classical ballet training with an expert eye for proper technique.  Melinda offers a program with a clear syllabus that provides a measurable progression that really motivates dancers.  With a long and successful professional resume, Melinda serves as a role model and valuable resource.  My daughter has taken classes with Melinda since she was in third grade (now in middle school and en pointe) and is constantly complimented by other instructors on her technique.  I attribute this to Melinda's ability to give corrections in a kind and genuine way that students respond to quickly and retain.  We are thankful to call Melinda a mentor and a friend."

Holly Nissalke 

daughter Caroline, 13 years 

Current Marin Ballet student 

Ashley DuBord

Caroline Connolly

Tessa Ulvestad


"Ms. Melinda is one of the most influential ballet teachers I have worked with. She pushes, motivates, and supports me through my journey with ballet. Each day she inspires me to stay positive and be the strongest I can be.

She cares not only about the physical health and performance of her students but also their mental state as she takes into account teaching the dancer holistically. I am so grateful to have met and worked with Ms. Melinda and I definitely would not be where I am without her!"

Ashley Dubord 

Discount Dance Ambassador

Former San Francisco Ballet Student

UC Berkeley Student  

Tessa Ulvestad

Sadie Rosenthal

Tessa Ulvestad


"Tessa had been taking dance since she was very young. She always loved dance, but it wasn't until she met Melinda that her passion for dance, and ballet in particular, really ignited. Melinda's expertise and years of experience dancing, coupled with her gift for coaching really influenced Tessa to want to become a better dancer and to reach new levels. Melinda is a dedicated and patient mentor, and really impacted our daughter's goals and love for dance. Thank you Melinda!!"


Katie Ulvestad 

daughter Tessa, 12 years old

Current San Francisco Ballet student 

Sadie Rosenthal

Sadie Rosenthal

Sadie Rosenthal


My daughter Sadie was recovering from a knee injury and looking for a new studio to continue pursuing her ballet career.  Luckily for us, Melinda Neal opened a studio in Marin.  Her beautifully remodeled studio is in a central location offering a concise program for all dancers.  Sadie is healthier, more inspired than ever, and excelling on a whole new level. Melinda cares not only for the student’s professional progression, but also their personal growth.  The students work hard because they are happy to be there working with her.  Melinda knows how to get the best work out of them in a positive, uplifting manner.  Melinda is one of those rare teachers who not only has an impressive resume and credentials, but she works intuitively with each student.  This allows the dancers to be themselves and have pride in their work.  Sadie is blossoming at Marin Conservatory.  She is a stronger and more confident dancer and person, thanks to having Melinda as teacher and coach.  Much love to Melinda and the Conservatory!

Diane Mateo 

daughter Sadie, 15 years old

Current MCD student 

Former San Francisco Ballet and City Ballet student