Summer Rhatigan, who serves as the artistic director and founder of the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, sadly announced that the school’s closure will be this August. She started the school in 2004 with her husband. The loss of their home in Glen Ellen during last year’s North Bay fires led to this final decision.

Since 2004, the school has trained classical and modern dance to participants ages 17 to 23, and as young as 14 during the summer programs. Students were encouraged to develop their own artistry by studying the choreography of internationally renowned dance masters. And students were given space to develop new pieces by working with the resident and guest choreographers. The school introduced its dance students to the greats in dance, choreography, and music—and provided a safe space for them to experiment.

The goal of the school was not just to produce professional dancers, but more to provide an environment where the students could learn and thrive without fear, in order to fully develop their own artistry.

With more than two thousand past students at the school, many have gone on to dance professionally. Others have chosen to teach, choreograph, work in arts production or management. Some have even attended just to more formally live out their love to dance.

Anyone associated with the school will most likely remember the space fondly—and these last summer session participants will undoubtedly feel the same. As Rhatigan told KTVU, “We’re all very, very close, the students and faculty. For us, it’s not a gig, it’s not a job, it’s a passion.”

San Francisco Conservatory of Dance
301 8th St
San Francisco