Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman was born on September 1, 1996, in Oakland, California, to teachers Claire Stoermer and Kazembe Ajamu Coleman. Her father is African-American, with roots in Arkansas; her mother has German and Scottish ancestry. Zendaya, whose name derives from the Shona name Tendai (meaning "to give thanks"), has five older siblings. She attended Fruitvale Elementary School, where her mother taught for two decades. At age six, she and two friends from the school performed a play there for Black History Month. She grew as a performer in part at the nearby California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, California, where her mother worked a summer job as the house manager. She helped her seat patrons, sold fundraising tickets, and was inspired by the theatrical performances to pursue acting. At eight, Zendaya joined a hip-hop dance troupe called Future Shock Oakland and was a member for three years. She also spent two years dancing hula with the Academy of Hawaiian Arts.Zendaya attended Oakland School for the Arts and, while still a student, was cast in several roles in area theaters. At the Berkeley Playhouse, she played Little Ti Moune in Once on This Island, and in the TheaterWorks' production in Palo Alto, she played a character originally written as male, Joe, in Caroline, or Change. Reviewing the latter, Keith Kreitman of San Mateo Daily Journal called the 11-year-old Zendaya's performance "a pure delight". She studied at the CalShakes Conservatory program and at the American Conservatory Theater.Her stage credits include performances in several of William Shakespeare's plays. She played Lady Anne in Richard III, Celia in As You Like It, and took part in a production of Twelfth Night. When Zendaya was in seventh grade, the family moved to Los Angeles. In 2015, while pursuing an acting career, she graduated from Oak Park High School.