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Ballroom dancing is back.

Matching today's music to traditional dances ... here's where to learn somefancy footwork in the Bay Area

WHILE LIFESTYLES have become high tech and low touch, ballroom dancing is popular because it's high touch and low tech," explains club owner Joe Metz.

Oh, just say it, Joe: ballroom dancing is sexy--as well as fun, energetic, and social. Our parents knew that. And ballroom dancing's exploding popularity shows that a new generation is catching on.

But they're not just swinging to the Benny Goodman sound. They're matching today's music--whether it's hip-hop, rock or salsa--to traditional ballroom dances like the two-step, West Coast swing, tango, or rumba.

An inexpensive and unintimidating way to learn some fancy footwork is through one of the Bay Area's nine ballroom dancing clubs that offer drop-in group classes and regular dance parties.

You don't have to bring a partner or dress up. Music is taped, but the dance floors are real hardwood. Only soft drinks are sold, and smoking is discouraged. One-hour group lessons run $7 to $10; longer dance parties (often with lesson) run $5 to $8.

In San Francisco, we liked Avenue Ballroom for its friendly, neighborhood feel, and Metronome for its spacious design and hip crowd; in Sunnyvale, we liked the Starlite for its energetic crowds and comfortable seating.


San Francisco

Avenue Ballroom, 603 Taraval Street; (415) 681-2882. Drop-in beginners' lessons and dance party ($7) at 8 Fridays and Saturdays, at 7 Sundays.

Metronome Ballroom, 1830 17th Street; 252-9000. Evening classes ($10) offered hourly Mondays through Thursdays. Parties ($8) start with lessons at 8 Fridays and Saturdays, at 7 Sundays.

Pick School, 380 18th Avenue; 752-5658. Dance parties ($8) 7:30 to 11:30 Saturdays attract serious dancers.


Imperial Dance Club, 822 Cassia Street, Redwood City; (415) 366-0504. Hard to find (no sign). Group classes ($7) at 7 Mondays and 7:30 Wednesdays. Dance parties ($7) with a 1-hour lesson at 8 on third Saturday of each month.

South Bay

Starlite Ballroom, 1160 N. Fair Oaks Avenue, Sunnyvale; (408) 745-7827. Dance parties ($5 weekdays, $6 weekends) with free lessons at 8:30 Thursdays, 7 Fridays and Sundays, and 8 Saturdays. Fridays geared to beginners.

California Dance Club, 938 The Alameda, San Jose; 297-9772. One of the few clubs teaching country and western dances. Lessons ($8) weekdays at 8; parties at 9:15 Tuesdays ($6) and Fridays ($8, with lesson from 8 to 9).

Dance Spectrum, 1707 S. Bascom Avenue, Suite D, Campbell; 379-7720. Combination class and dance party ($5) from 8 to 11 Wednesdays (intermediate), 8 to midnight Saturdays (beginner), and 7 to 11 Sundays (both).

East Bay

Allegro Ballroom, 10690 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito; (510) 524-9100. This 3-month-old club offers classes ($7) at 7 and 8 Tuesdays through Fridays; dance parties ($7) 8 to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 3 to 6 Sundays.

Footnotes, 1251 Arroyo Way, Walnut Creek; 945-7660. Parties ($5) at 8 on second Friday of each month.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes directory of ballroom dancing clubs
Author:Finnegan, Lora J.
Article Type:Directory
Date:May 1, 1992
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