Looking for something to uplift your body and soul? Whether you’d like to meet artists who are physically adroit or want to learn how to be one yourself, visit a dance studio around San Francisco. From ballet, tap, tango and swing to Bollywood and belly dancing, the city is full of places to help you get your groove back.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Price: $7 single for class, teen/senior; $14 single class for adults; packages at $52 – $190
Alonzo King Lines Ballet opens its Dance Center to the public with more than 80 classes per week. It is ideal for adults looking for inspiration and a physical challenge taught by professional dancers and choreographers. AKLB offers pre-professional and professional programs, as well as a four-year bachelor of fine arts program. There is also a summer program for aspiring dancers ages 11-24 where students learn independent thinking, risk taking, problem solving and expressiveness.
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 9 a..m. – 10 p.m.; Fri: 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Sat: 10:30 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Sun: Noon – 11 p.m. Price: Free private lesson for all newcomers
This is the acclaimed school of Cheryl Burke of “Dancing with the Stars.” Burke teaches first-time dance lessons for free and styles include ballroom, Latin, swing, club dances, dance-based exercise, kids’ classes and special classes such as ballet, hip-hop and tap. Open to all skill levels, Cheryl Burke Dance also provides drop-in and series group dance classes for partners that span four week periods with advanced registration. If you’re newly engaged and looking for a memorable first dance on your wedding night, the studio can even help you learn new moves or choreograph a routine for your and your partner.
Hours: Mon-Wed: 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Thurs: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Fri: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat: 8:30 – 3 p.m.
Price: $12 drop-in fee and up
Dance Mission Theater is a non-profit, community-oriented center in the Mission District. Complete with its own dance company, Krissy Keefer’s Dance Brigade is a modern dance troupe oriented toward social change. DMT offers 50 classes per week to everyone of any age, so that all members of the community may discover the art of dance, from ballet to rumba. DMT offers classes for a $12 drop-in fee, and students may purchase class cards $44.00 for four classes, or $100.00 for 10 classes. Class cards are good for three months for any class Mission Theater offers. Work exchange is also available.
Hours: See class schedule
Price: Single classes at $7, $14 or packages from $44 to $225
ODC School partnered with the Rhythm and Motion Dance Program to offer 200 dance classes per week of all levels to all ages year-round. The school runs a free health clinic for dancers, as well as an immersion program for choreographers. Classes range from Argentine tango, hip-hop jazz, ballet, ballet-pointe, Afro-Brazlian contemporary and modern jazz blues to tribal belly dancing, tap, Pilates and salsa-Rueda. ODC offers work exchange.
Hours: See class schedule
Price: $10 for single class; for classes prior to a music performance, the dance class fee of $10 goes toward admission
This Berkeley community center offers a tantalizing world of casual dance exposure with some teachers who allow drop-ins. The center has an activist attitude, as seen on the tiles and posters that decorate the center. Discover multi-cultural dances with offerings such as Afro-Brazilian, Balkan, Bharatanatym classical dance, Cape Breton Scottish-style step dancing and Egyptian belly dancing.
Hours: See registration forms
Price: Children’s class series $112-282
Kathryn Roszak’s Children’s Dance Program offers ballet, creative movement and summer camps. Roszak, who danced and taught at San Francisco Ballet, runs Danse Lumiere, which links dance theater to the arts and the environment. Roszak works with scientists at U.C. Berkeley and made a dance in “geological time” in the early 90s, followed by dances made with European physicists and French mathematicians. Now collaborating with astronomers, she has developed quite a unique and large body of work over the past 20 years.
School is in Civic Center across from the War Memorial Opera House where the ballet performs.
Price: Tuition ranges from $1,160 for pre-ballet to $4880 for Level 7 and 8, with all levels paying a $125 registration fee. Children, age 7 ½ to age 18 audition except for the pre-ballet course
The San Francisco Ballet School trains professionals and places 150 children each year in “The Nutcracker” at the War Memorial Opera House, for which auditions are required. The school runs like a regular academic year, September through June. Most classes involve technique and the school teaches young students pointe, music, pas de deux and batterie with live piano accompaniment, instilling a lifelong appreciation for the arts.
Looking to enjoy from the audience? Check out the best professional dance companies in San Francisco.
Cindy Warner is a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for Examiner.com via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on Examiner.com.