Thank You, Teachers

One year ago today….

…LINES Dance Center opened its virtual doors. Our amazing team of teachers courageously leapt into Zoom rooms and have since been opening up their homes to students from around the world each week. Today we take a moment to applaud our faculty for their dedication and determination over the past year. Their commitment to their craft and our community is exceptional!

To help us express our gratitude, we asked some of our Dance Center students to share messages of appreciation:

Monica Berini

To: Monica Berini
From: Linda D.

Dear Monica,
Your belly dance class is such a joy! You make it so much fun and I always feel happy and relaxed after class. Thank you for the time and effort you dedicate to your students each week!

Laura Bernasconi

To: Laura Bernasconi
From: Erin M.

Dear Laura,
Thank you for the joy and openness you bring to ballet. Even with the limitations of virtual classes, you were able to offer meaningful, individualized feedback to me and the other dancers. You created a supportive and encouraging environment for us to move and grow. Your corrections have stuck with me, and I continue to apply them. I left your class sweaty, joyful and full. Thank you!

Christina Briggs

To: Christina Briggs
From: Stacey B.

I look forward to Christina’s class not only for the great workout, but for the sense of playfulness that she brings to our movements! Her approach to teaching, as well as the variety of moves she features in class, encourages me to have fun with my body, try new things, and not take myself too seriously. I love when her cat makes a guest appearance too 🙂 Thanks, Christina!

Lynn Brilhante

To: Lynn Brilhante
From: Beata H.

Thank you, Lynn, for your creative genius and passion, your knowledge, nurturing, and life-changing guidance. You are the real deal – a direct descendent of jazz dance royalty – and we are all so grateful for your brilliant choreography and your mastery of rhythm, musicality, and movement dynamics that allow us to truly celebrate jazz dance as the gratifying and soul deepening form it is. I cherish every moment in your class and I am forever grateful for the tremendous impact you’ve made on my career and my life.

Mary Carbonara

To: Mary Carbonara
From: Justine C.

Dear Mary,
Thank you so much for offering your class over Zoom. Even in the virtual realm you always create a space that is joyful and welcoming, intelligent and nurturing of community. I especially appreciate the way you have guided us in discovering how to use our home dance spaces as tools for learning. It has also been such a joy to see others – friends and strangers- dancing in their spaces. When you divide up the class so we can watch each other, it is such a gift to see and be seen. Being able to continue learning from and dancing with you during this time of social distancing has been crucial for my continued sense of faith that better times are ahead.
Thank you!!!

LeeWei Chao

To: LeeWei Chao
From: Mary Lou D-P

Thanks for sharing this pandemic with me. For almost a year now, every Thursday at 9:30am, I look forward to the joy and beauty you share with me and my fellow students. You continue to be one of my lifelines to normalcy. So, thanks again – and I hope to see you in person when you visit San Francisco and teach a class at LINES.

Sandra Chinn

To: Sandra Chinn
From: Jill A.

“What distinguishes this teacher’s class from others?”
I’ve thought about this a lot, what makes Sandra so special, and came up with this: Sandra is a force of nature. Her classes are exhilarating, fast-paced and life-affirming.

“How has this teacher’s class impacted your stay-at-home experience?”
After dancing in-studio for 40 years, I never imagined home classes bringing the same joy and satisfaction. They do. Sandra’s classes have been – in a word – a lifeline.

“What do you look forward to in this teacher’s class?”
Challenging combinations, artistry, musicality and attention to detail. And Sandra’s sense of humor. She makes high-level ballet technique so much fun.

Brett Conway

To: Brett Conway
From: Phaedrana J.

The moment in between what you once were, and who you are becoming – in essence, learning anything – is where the dance of life really takes place. The only way to make sense out of growth, change, or evolution is to plunge into it, move with it, until your work becomes a dance with light and space. Through a high level of technique and insight, Brett’s class will guide and challenge you to grow, to utilize inspiration, execution, and release, to be willing to take risks – to through that process access your potential.

Kara Davis

To: Kara Davis
From: Lisa B.

THANK YOU, Kara, for bringing your full awesome self to learning a new way of teaching, connecting, and honoring us all in the struggle through the last year!!! Seeing you every week, challenging us to move, really dance in the cramped rooms and shared living spaces was life saving for me. The ritual of class, working on strength, technique and especially your way of pushing us to bring our own artistry into phrasing has been invaluable to my body and heart. I am incredibly grateful for your beautiful, talented and nurturing teaching, and your commitment to send the proceeds to the Equal Justice Initiative. You allowed us all to dance for change! Much love!

Kelsey Lettko

To: Kelsey Lettko
From: Rebecca P.

Kelsey, I’m so grateful for you and your class! Through all of the ups and downs of the past year, dancing each Wednesday is always something that makes my week better. I love dancing in your class because it allows me to process what I’m feeling and just have fun moving. Thank you so much for continuing to share with us!

Kyle Limin

To: Kyle Limin
From: Trish E.

As an experienced and mature (a nice word to describe that I’m well past my prime) dancer, I tried to make the most of these crazy times we’re  all living in by incorporating one of my truest passions back into my  life — dancing. I’ve always wondered about dance studios and teachers out of the LA area which led me to re-activate my ClassPass membership. I was ecstatic to find this Dance Center and chanced upon taking Kyle’s Contemporary and Hip Hop classes. While virtual learning for some is not ideal, I found inspiration and connection with Kyle’s choreography as well as his style of teaching. He is exemplary in breaking down movement, rhythmic patterns, and the motivation of his dance pieces. I try to take his classes whenever my work schedule allows me to. Thank you for your passion for dance and teaching, Kyle!

Daiane Lopes da Silva

To: Daiane Lopes da Silva
From: Lisa S.

Daiane welcomes us each week as her “Wednesday Family,” so you already feel part of the LINES Dance Center’s “remote tribe.” She gives us relevant images and descriptions to support the challenging technique required in ballet. I look forward to Daiane’s innovative combos which she delivers in a calm, accessible way. 

Daiane – and all the other teachers – have been extraordinary troopers during our full year of online classes. Hoping everyone stays safe and we can be together in the studio soon!

Kathy Mata

To: Kathy Mata
From: Deborah H-P

Dear Kathy Mata,
Your profoundest value as a teacher is in how you steadfastly provide a true sense of community within a fun yet disciplined atmosphere, along with a high standard of ballet training. Over the past decade of dancing with you, I feel that I have not only regained my earlier level of training from many decades ago, but have even gained significant improvements in technique… in spite of inevitably losing some strength and abilities to my advanced age! 

During our period of indefinite COVID-19 quarantine, your online classes have provided us with a critical anchor in time and space, so that we can rely on being able to pull together and continue to maintain many of the skills, strengths, and joys for which we’ve worked so hard. I always look forward to taking your ballet class – whether at the Dance Center or on Zoom – as I know I’ll get to see familiar faces as well as new ones. I know I will get a satisfying workout, with helpful corrections, as well as a chance to enjoy such great accompaniment, provided by those musicians who play for your classes.

David Sirgany

To: David Sirgany
From: Trudi Z.

David’s class leaves me grounded, centered and uplifted. I enjoy his exact, detailed instruction enabling me to get more in touch and aware of my body. Having a live class during this pandemic has created a wonderful human connection. Thank you soooo much!

Victor Talledos

To: Victor Talledos
From: Mandy B.

Dear Victor,
Thank you so much for offering Horton Technique throughout this entire time of the pandemic. I really appreciate your patience in explaining certain moves very slowly (over and over again). You are very welcoming and that’s why I enjoy taking your class so much. Thank you for being an amazing teacher!

Charles Torres

To: Charles Torres
From: Kris A.

It’s rare that you get to learn from a teacher that is not only an inspiring performer, but a teacher that has helped me understand the genesis of movement. Charles Torres is one of the rare teachers that is so effective because he is a consummate student. This is what distinguishes him from most. After eight months of Floor Barre via Zoom, I improved my stamina, center of balance, stability, and strength. 

For the first time in nearly a year, I was able to return to my local studio with my coach and he was not only impressed by the improvement in my movement, but also in the changes to my body due to weight loss. I hope the Zoom classes continue for folks like me who are not in San Francisco to take advantage of the finest instructors, not only in the United States, but in the world. Because of Charles Torres, I have become a monthly contributor to the philanthropic efforts of LINES.

Erik Wagner

To: Erik Wagner
From: Aya K.

Erik has the ability to shrewdly diagnose why a dancer is not centered and creates sequences, which amplify the importance of his corrections, even via Zoom! Through Erik’s classes I have been able to improve balance, turn out in leg extensions and weight shifting, all which were essential in elevating my technique. As a result, my movements waste less energy and have more flow. Erik’s classes are a gift for any dancer.

Kara Wilkes

To: Kara Wilkes
From: Michelle F.

Kara’s Ballet classes have been a breath of fresh air during the pandemic, providing ballet instruction that speaks from the heart and tells a story through movement. Her teaching style is warm and supportive, and she truly cares about and provides feedback to all of her students! What I enjoy most is her fun-loving attitude that reminds us that ballet is indeed an expression, feelings, movements, and emotions – not just perfect technique and straight backs. It’s a dance! It is because of her classes that I got reacquainted with my love of ballet after several years hiatus, and admit it is a highlight of my week as we continue to shelter in place and work from home! I am truly grateful!!

Class recordings representing April 2020 – February 2021.

Learn from these incredible teachers!

At LINES Dance Center, we believe that quality dance training should be accessible – whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out. Our faculty offer a wide range of classes from ballet to modern, contemporary jazz to hip hop, in an environment that is inspiring and approachable. Join them in our (virtual) studios today!

Photos by: Jon Bauer (Daiane Lopes da Silva), Nick Korkos (Sandra Chinn), Rob Kunkle/GoodLux Photography (Kara Davis), Rapt Productions (LeeWei Chao), Stephen Texeira (Monica Berini, Kathy Mata, Victor Talledos, Erik Wagner), Quinn B. Wharton (Brett Conway, Kara Wilkes), Jamie Wright (Charles Torres), Weidong Yang (Mary Carbonara)