About the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance

Visit the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance website here: http://www.sfconservatoryofdance.org

The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance was founded in 2004 by veteran dancer and teacher Summer Lee Rhatigan and a team of collaborators whose principal goal was to create a new kind of dance school specifically designed to guide and support young people in their discovery, understanding, development, and application of the tools necessary to thrive as an artist.

The Conservatory provides multi-disciplinary training in classical and modern dance for advanced dancers ages 17-23 during the academic year and as young as 14 during the summer intensive program.

Beyond the Conservatory’s emphasis on rigorous technique training, we strive to help our students develop their artistry through the study of existing choreography of such internationally-heralded masters as William Forsythe and Ohad Naharin —as taught by their personal representatives during our summer intensive program—and the development of new works in collaboration with the our gifted resident and guest choreographers.  Resident faculty includes Summer Lee Rhatigan, Christian Burns, Alex Ketley, Tristan Ching, and Eli Nelson.  The Conservatory seeks to imbue in its students the ability to discern for themselves and carry forward the best aspects of classical and modern dance as they prepare for the roles they will play in shaping the future evolution of these dance genres.

The Conservatory is structured on the belief that the best way to develop young dance artists is to establish a trusting environment in which highly motivated students come together with highly accomplished artists—dancers, choreographers and musicians—to give of themselves generously, share and respect one another’s points of view, augment and refine dance skills, experiment freely, and collaborate in the creation and re-creation of diverse dance works. A key goal of our training is to foster in students the fascination and passion that are essential components of artistic development and the life-long pursuit of the artist to give of one’s self without fear.

Our students also enjoy the rare opportunity during our summer intensive program to study William Forsythe’s Improvisational Technologies and Ohad Naharin’s Gaga movement language, as taught by their personal representatives.

While many of those who have studied at the Conservatory have gone on to dance professionally (and more than a few young professionals have enrolled in our summer program during their summer layoff), we do not evaluate applicants based on predicting their professional prospects. Our prerequisites are simply: a sound foundation in ballet training; an advanced level of dance skill; dedication to the art form; an inquisitive mind; a healthy body; stamina; and a positive attitude.


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