Pepito & Joanne’s First Dance School Location in Santa Ana (1949)

Thursday, June 2, 1949

After retiring from performing on the road, Joanne Perez began her career as a dance teacher. During World War II, she taught dance in her converted garage studio on Balboa Island in Newport Beach.  Very quickly, she had over 100 students, and began opening more dance school locations around Orange County, California. 

When the Irvine Company wanted the land back for other purposes, Pepito and Joanne needed to find a new location.  Fortunately, a friend found them an old Victorian house nearby, at the corner of 15th and Ross Streets in Santa Ana.  Initially, they rented only the rear portion for their dance studio, but eventually they purchased the house.  That Victorian house on Ross Street was owned by Joanne from 1951 until her death in 2004.  


Special thanks to Shirley Gardner for submitting this vintage photo.

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