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Classes in San Francisco?

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Yippee -- a biz trip next week to city that I know has great ballet classes! (Ever try to find a class in Killeen, Tex., or Chadron, Neb.?!) Anyway, I'd appreciate any recommendations -- I generally take advanced beginner classes but can cope with a lower or (slightly) higher level. Thanks very much in advance.

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San Francisco Dance center was very interesting when I went there. It's about the only ballet class I've been to that was completely outside New York's sphere of influence.


It's right off of Market St, easy to get to from common downtown business locations.

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A second enthusiastic endorsement for San Francisco Dance Center. Don't know your transportation situation -- when I was there I decided to walk from Nob Hill and the trip on foot takes one through some distinctly unsavory neighborhoods. I'm a city girl and used to urban life, but even I was feeling uncomfortable.

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Make that a 3rd endorsement for SFDC. When I took class there the receptionist offered great advice on who's class to take (there were several "continuing beginning classes" all offered in the post-work (after 5pm) range. The one I chose even had live piano!


Walking from Nob Hill to SFDC means going through the Civic Center area which is pretty tacky in places. I ran through there (jogging) at 9am on a Sunday morning and felt somewhat apprehensive. Since runners don't normally carry wads of cash and their clothes don't hide potential wealth, I normally don't feel scared running just about anywhere, so my fear tells you how bad the 'hood is.

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Make that a fourth good response to the SFDC. I spent 16 glorious months there.

Its'on market and 7th. Good ballet classes to go, any with Augusta Moore, if you want to try her intermediate clas its on tuesdays at 7:30 $12 for a drop in. Tell the girls and Augusta hi from Jeanette if you do go! she also has beginner ballet classes.

Kathy Mata is also another good lot of classes to go to. She runs them Monday 7:30-pointe class, tuesday 7:30 beginner/adv beginner, thursday 7:30 same again, and friday is a good one as you get 2 hours for the same price as one and a half hours (which is the normal length of her other classes), starting at 6-8. Sunday she runs a good basic class in the morning from 10-11:30 and then again an adv beginner from 1:30 until 3. All classes are $11.


if you go in the mornings there are some very very good intermediate/advanced classes, especially from Summer rattigan..don't be put off by the advanced bit, it is an excellent class.


Then there is also Dance Mission (they have a website for the location)


Academy of Ballet on church and Market, very goot adult evening classes from 7:30..they also haev a website.


Happy dancing and i fyou do go to any of Kathys class say Hi to her form me also please :)


jeanette x

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Thank you all -- hope to get to at least one class if not more at SF Dance Center. It looks like it's not far from where I'm staying in Union Square/Nob Hill area. I will have a car, so the dicey walking situation shouldn't be a problem. Although most of my memories of past trips to San Francisco tend not to be of walking through questionable area but of circling endlessly in search of parking!


I'll pass on your hello, Xena, if I make it to Kathy Mata's class. (Tuesday night seems a distinct possiblity.)

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your memories of parking in SF do not deceive you! If you're going to try and drive, I'd give them a call first and ask about parking nearby.

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Good idea. I also just took a quick look at the BART website -- sometimes cities with bad parking have good public tansit! I couldn't tell if that's a decent option. The nearest stop to my hotel seemed like six blocks away, but I couldn't tell if that was six long or short blocks. I guess I'll just ask when I get there. Thanks again!

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San Francisco is one of those cities where it is usually cheaper to avoid rental cars entirely and take taxis. I know it sounds expensive, but when you combine the rental car tab, plus taxes, airport user fees, and gasoline, along with the $25 - $40 a day a downtown hotel will charge you to park, you can take a lot of cab rides for the same money.


For going up and down Market, BART/Muni can't be beat, but you need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the rest of the bus schedule.

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for parking there ar elots of places that are free around the SFDC after 6, and as most of the class park in these places and walk back to their cars, they seem OK enough. there are little side roads off of 7th which are popular parking places. Just do not leave anything visible in your car, stick it all in the boot.

public transport is good also, anything down Market will get you there.

The dance center is in a building called ODD FELLOWS and there is a huge blue and white sign up the side of the building (7th and Market), it is just above one of those bright yellow signed Check in to cash or whatever they are called.

The entrance it self is just on 7th next to the big green sign for 7up (some little shop where you can purchase water).


Inside the foyer to the dance center is a huge poster for Alonzo Kings Lines ballet.


happy dancing :)

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Many thanks, truly, for such specific tips and instructions. I can't tell you how many times I've been in an unfamiliar city, found myself with time to catch a class, then spent desperate minutes looking for the studio and parking. Once, I think in Minneapolis, I thought I spotted the place because there was sign that said something about "dance," but then it turned out to be ... uh ... some other kind of dance!

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I second that there's no need for a car in SF. Not even getting in from the airport. SamTrans runs express busses directly from the airport terminal to downtown San Francisco. They're incredibly convenient, non-stop, and faster than renting a car for the same trip (because you save the time spent going to the rental desk and then picking up your car).


If you arrive on or after June 22, you can take the new BART directly from the airport. I'm not convinced it will be any more convenient or any faster (because first you have to take AirTrain TO the BART station, and then you have to endure all the BART stops on the way to downtown). I suppose that's progress...




If you're staying in Union Square, you will just go bonkers if you try to drive to SF Dance Center. Market St. is the main drag through downtown. Union Square is a couple of blocks "North of Market", and SF Dance Center is just 1 block "South of Market". You could easily end up having to walk further than if you took public transit.


To get there:

1. Walk down the hill to Market Street.

2. Take the next trolley until you get to where you're going. SF has vintage trolleys running in the middle of Market St. You can't miss them.


If you want to get there a couple of minutes faster (but less historically), go underground to the Muni; it's a modern trolley underground. Do not take BART. BART is a suburban system, not really so appropriate for short trips within San Francisco.


You won't have to go through the Civic Center area (Opera House), so don't worry about that. You just have to go up and down Market Street.


It IS true that parts of that area off of Market Street can be seedy at night. I heard a story from a friend once. He was asked to buy pot and knew it was a bad idea. But he went and tried anyway. To make a long story short, he ended up having to take a choice between getting knifed and taking a long drag of crack (to prove he wasn't a cop). He chose the crack. That wasn't his idea of a fun evening...


The route from Nob Hill to SF Dance Center involves passing through some of these areas.


But if you're just on Market Street and not looking for trouble in deserted plazas in front of the Opera House or something, you should really have NO PROBLEM.

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I've just printed this thread out and will take it with me (leaving this afternoon). Thanks citibob, you clarified the BART situation for me, I couldn't figure out why there were so few in-town stops. For job purposes I'm stuck with a car, but I think the Market Street trolley or underground Muni sounds like the ticket to SFDC... Thanks very much, everyone.

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SFDC also has a website with all of this information on it plus a class schedule. I recommend thses classes bu thtey can be crowded. Be prepared to stand your ground.

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... I went to SFDC Tuesday night and loved the class. It was Kathy Mata's turn class -- mostly like a regular class but with an emphasis on turns, both at the barre and in center. She's a terrific teacher and gave lots of specific, individual corrections to everyone. I'm probably the world's worst turner, so it was great having an entire class to focus on them. There was no escape since just about every combination involved turns!


Jeannette, Kathy was delighted to get your hello!


And one more thing -- it was totally uneventful getting to SFDC! I ended up driving, had no trouble finding it or parking and didn't even have to take a hit of crack :) !

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