San Francisco's Best Dance Classes: 9 Places to Bust a Move
Shut off Dancing With the Stars and get off that couch: Nine places to bust your own move.
Pick School of Ballroom Dancing
Now that Cheryl Burke’s Dance School in Potrero Hill has closed, you may be wondering where the betrothed can get a crash course before the big day. Couples rave about the Wedding Workshop taught by second-generation dance instructor Erin Pick, who expertly guides them in waltz, two-step, and tango lessons in preparation for the dreaded first dance. The workshop is preregistration only, and is held the third Sunday of each month.
$65 per couple; 1532 Taraval St., 415-752-5658, pickdance.com
The Verdi Club
Tuesday Night Jump
Remember the heroic dance scene in Swingers where wallflower Jon Favreau whips out his moves? You can do the same at Tuesday Night Jump at The Verdi Club. Learn the Lindy Hop (fast, fancy footwork and lots of girl-tossing) and the Balboa (like the Charleston, but faster). After class, continue practicing your moves to music by local band Stompy Jones.
$65 for a four-week series or $20 for drop-ins; 2424 Mariposa St., 415-861-9199, verdiclub.net
Cafe Cocomo Bar, Grill, and Night Club
Salsa Lunes Beginner and Intermediate Salsa
If you want a salsa crash course, stop in to Potrero hotspot Cafe Cocomo for a lesson, held Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. Grab some liquid courage, and then hit the dance floor to master the requisite footwork. Class runs until 9 p.m.—if you catch the bug, you can continue dancing until midnight.
$10; 650 Indiana St., 415-410-4012, cafecocomo.com
Hot Pink Feathers Showgirl Academy
World Cabaret/Samba Burlesque Technique
Kellita Maloof, leader of Feathers dance troupe and founder of Showgirl Academy, says, “It’s all about individuality here—finding your own sexy.” Students learn tried and true moves based in mambo and samba, but ladies are encouraged to tailor the choreography to magnify their, ahem, assets.
$20 for drop-ins; 128 10th St., 415-398-7673, hotpinkfeathers.com
Shelly’s Pole Studio
Celestial Virgins: Introduction to Pole Dancing
Looking for an excuse to wear those six-inch heels left over from Halloween and build a fabulous upper bod all at once? Sign up for introduction to pole dancing. The technique is rooted in fitness and dance (seriously), with 44 basic moves covering poses, transitions, floor work, and the main event, pole spins. Classes are limited to nine people, and beginner sessions start every four weeks.
$125 for four classes; 564 Monterey Blvd., 510-301-4681, shellyspolestudio.com
Fat Chance Belly Dance
Finally, moves that celebrate the midsection. Arrive early for Fat Chance Belly Dance’s popular fundamentals class so you can grab a spot before it reaches capacity. Lest you think hip gyration doesn’t count as a real workout, this introduction to American tribal belly dance, taught by director Carolena Nericcio, will reach muscles rarely touched by most other exercise. $10;
670 South Van Ness Ave., 415-431-4322, fcbd.com
Sunday and Thursday Night Line Dance Lessons
Join the LGBT community and friends to master line dances like the Cowboy Cha Cha and the Honky Tonk Twist. The volunteer-run Sundance Saloon offers concurrent classes on its two dance floors. First time? Get your cowboy boots wet with the free Sunday Night Line Dance 101 class. If you’re bitten by the boot-scooting bug, you can make it a habit: Classes are only $5.
550 Barneveld Ave., 415-820-1403, sundancesaloon.org
Dance Brigade’s Dance Mission Theater
Who among us hasn’t watched a Justin Timberlake video and wished for the requisite skills to pop, lock, and drop it, or at least master the Harlem shake? Classes for the hop-challenged are offered three times a week at Dance Mission Theater. These include two very popular classes on Monday and Saturday taught by Allan Frias, who instructs with a mixture of humor and hardcore moves.
$12; 3316 24th St., 415-826-4441, dancemission.com
*ODC Dance Commons
Rhythm and Motion Fusion Rhythms
Rhythm and motion classes are a dime a dozen, but ODC’s Fusion Rhythms tricks you into an exhausting workout, thanks to choreographed routines (they call it "high energy dancing") set to the sounds of Beyoncé and the gang. You'll feel like it's just another night on the dance floor—without the torture of high heels.
$12; 351 Shotwell St., 415-863-6606, odcdance.org