Partner dancing / dance lessons in San Francisco?
May 23, 2023 4:27 PM   Subscribe

My boyfriend and I recently went to a country western bar and took the complimentary “nothing but the basics” two step dance lesson. We got really hooked and went out dancing a bunch of times that week. We’re interested in taking lessons, but not sure where to look. Country western was really fun, but we’d be interested in related styles as well.

I’m super ignorant about dance terminology (feel free to point me to any primers). All I know is that country western two step was fun, we joined in to some slightly more complex country dancing steps, and a lot of the people we were dancing with were either swing dancers or twirling very expertly all over the place.

Mostly I’d like to find a local studio with good, gentle instructors who will be patient with me (I tend to be pretty mechanical in my dancing and it’s kind of a sore spot, I’m working on loosening up.) Leaving this pretty open, but we do tend to like country and swing styles of music so those dance styles are probably the most fun for us right now. But by aol means if there are any legendary dance instructors / clubs / scenes in the Bay Area, would love to hear about them. Any suggestions?
posted by stoneandstar to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, and San Francisco preferred, but greater Bay Area is OK too.
posted by stoneandstar at 4:27 PM on May 23

Five years ago, the answer for country western dancing was definitely The Saddle Rack in Fremont, but it looked like they were a pandemic casualty.

For swing dance, the 9:20 Special is legendary and in SF proper. There are group lessons before the dance every week.
posted by A Blue Moon at 5:40 PM on May 23

Best answer: Sundance Saloon is at 550 Barnevald in SF, behind the Lowe's off Bayshore Blvd, and is described as "CW dancing for the LGBT community + friends." They have lessons before the dance. It's a very inclusive, welcoming event.
posted by larrybob at 5:54 PM on May 23 [1 favorite]

Lindy in the park is free, every Sunday, in Golden Gate Park!
posted by alexei at 7:18 PM on May 23 [4 favorites]

Unfortunately the 9:20 Special has permanently closed. Lindy in the Park is still going though and includes a brief lesson.
posted by kbuxton at 7:18 PM on May 23 [1 favorite]

More swing options.
posted by kbuxton at 7:19 PM on May 23

Best answer: Another option that's kind of hot right now is Urban Line Dance, which has a smoother style than country-western. It comes out of the Black community. You might look into that as well. Definitely some places in SF offering it, but I live in the midwest, so can't offer specific recommendations.
posted by Well I never at 7:22 PM on May 23 [2 favorites]

Best answer: In case you've not yet discovered social folk dancing (contra dance, especially), check out the wide variety of events organised by the Bay Area Country Dance Society.
posted by obliquicity at 11:42 PM on May 23 [3 favorites]

So delighted to see lindy hop showing up in this thread! Woodchoppers’ Ball has lessons and live music every Tuesday, and The Breakaway in Oakland on Thursdays - also with both lessons and dancing - is run by people who have a deep, deep commitment to taking care of each other and having fun.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 2:25 PM on May 24

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