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Ballet Talk for Dancers

San Francisco Day Classes


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I did a search in the archives for places but didn't find anything in the last several years.


DD is doing 2 weeks at Joffrey San Francisco starting tomorrow. Because she's too young for the dorms, we're commuting. I lucked out and found a housesit for the first week, then I'll drive 1.5-2 hours each way (rush hour) and stay in SF while she's in class.


I'd love to get in a couple adult ballet classes while I'm there. I'm a middle-aged dancer, not on pointe, intermediate level (depending on how it's rated...I know the basic classical vocabulary, can do single pirouettes, not doubles).


Joffrey is at San Francisco State University (the main campus, not the downtown annex). I drop her off at 8:30 or so and pick her up at 6pm (might be later the second week due to rehearsals). The housesit is in Outer Sunset right on the N-Judah Muni line, plus I'll have a car.


There are tons of fabulous adult classes out there but pretty much all of them are evenings and weekends, and many have reduced hours for the summer too. I'm looking for something on weekdays during the hours DD is at her program. I checked places like SF Ballet, Alonzo King, City Ballet, and did some general searching with no luck.


Thanks for any leads!

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Look up Lines Dance center (that's how you can find schedule for the daytime open classes at Alonzo King). They have a full schedule of day time classes. Also look up City Ballet again. They have a morning open classes M-F at 9:30 (those classes may be too advanced, but you could always just take barre if you are intimidated). There are also two dance studios on Geary that offer minimal adult open classes. And two more on Clement. Also ODC has daily open classes. Even the YMCA offers ballet classes taught by former professionals at least two sf branches.

There are many, many options for daytime open classes in SF.

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Thanks so much for replying.


Perhaps the Alonzo schedule is richer during the regular year? I'm only seeing advanced/professional and intermediate/advanced (which I'm guessing is too high a level for me).


Wow, the City Ballet summer schedule wasn't up when I looked before (must have been June), so thanks for that pointer. I called them and they say it's "intermediate to advanced" which seems to mean it's mostly professional dancers (principals too they say) with lower level dancers allowed as long as they don't get in the way. So I think I'll skip that one.


ODC looks great, with a couple of options.


YMCA: Richmond District has Adult Ballet with Monique Brown. Beginning on Thurs, Intermediate on Wed. Nothing else for these two weeks aside from barre workouts (the website shows all the local branches).


Geary Dance Center does not have daytime ballet.


Ms. Marian's Dance Garden on Geary has "Everyone Can Dance! – Adult Ballet Basics." Will skip.


Dance Training Center on Geary has Intermediate/Beginner ballet on Mondays.


Pascale Leroy Ballet Center on Clement has bunches of good choices.


Ballet Russe on Clement gets good reviews but does not have a website I can find, so I'll have to call.


Thanks! This was very helpful. I realize that San Franciscans tend to know their city well and may not see that those of us who only visit the city once in a while have basically no clue how to navigate it. I've learned more in the couple weeks preparing for this visit than in 20 years of living in the Bay Area. I did pretty extensive searches to no avail. Your suggestions have helped me narrow it down.

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Today, I went to the Intermediate class at Pascale Leroy Ballet Center on Clement near 5th Ave. The class was wonderful and the right level for me. Just enough overlap for me to recognize most of the moves and enough differences (in arms, in order, in execution) for me to struggle with the center. The floor is Marley over what appears to be a regular wood floor. It was on the sticky side. I loved the teacher, who was very warm and welcoming and knowledgable. I got a great workout and felt that I learned some new moves. Unfortunately, the owners of the space she rents are renovating and use a lot of air freshener (not in the studio itself, but it wafts), both things that make me spacey and headachy, so I can't return. But for anyone who doesn't share my disability, I highly recommend the class. It was small and had a wide range of ages and abilities.

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Today I took an Intermediate class at the Richmond YMCA with teacher Monique Brown (formerly of the SF Ballet?). She billed the class as advanced beginning to low intermediate, which seemed right. It was slow and straightforward which gave me an opportunity to work on basics. Floor barre (there are nice mats there), a long regular barre, then some center and corner. Lots of form advice, and hands on and verbal corrections, which I greatly appreciated. 10 people in the class, all very kind and welcoming, as was the teacher. The studio was on the small side but big enough for 10. The floor is parquet and pretty slippery. The only barres are portable wood ones, which I kept knocking out of place (though thankfully not over).


The coolist part is that the usual $15 drop-in class fee was really a day pass to the Y. No pool at that location, alas, but I did some weights and took a sauna then showered. There are free weights and machine weights, cardio equipment, and a hot tub. Towels are included, there's a filtered water bottle fill station, and they even loaned me a lock. The place is clean and in good shape. Parking was quite difficult (many spaces were blocked off for construction plus I arrived as a Y food distribution was under way).

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OH, great! I was going to recommend Ms. Monique as I adore her! If you can't find street parking, you can use a nearby lot - I haven't tried it yet so can't remember exactly where, but if you call, they can direct you.

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Pascale Leroy was a dancer with SF Ballet, and have taught in SF Ballet School for many many years. She teaches to the level of the students in the class that day, and is absolutely lovely to watch. It is a pity that you are not able to return.

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I'm disappointed I can't go back to Pascale too, I would have tried to fit in another class this week. She isn't holding classes next week anyway because of some special program she is doing.

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