Shan-Yee Poon Ballet School

Address Email Website
415.387.2695
Service Areas: San Francisco-Central West, San Francisco-Northwest, San Francisco-Northeast, SF District #9

Free Trial Class

Contact us to schedule a free trial class for your child. The free trial class allows us to evaluate and place your child in the appropriate level based on their age and ability. It also allows you and your child to try the class out and experience our wonderful instruction. There is no charge, but you must reserve your spot in advance.

Special Friends & Family Referral Program

Refer a friend to the school & receive $50 credit for next semester's tuition! Upon confirmed enrollment of the new family with mention of your name at registration, the $50 credit will automatically go to next semester's tuition.

Welcome to Our School!

Thank you for visiting the Shan-Yee Poon Ballet School Best of the Bay website. We hope you find the information you need. For more information on past schedules and school calendar, please visit our school website: www.poonballet.com


In this section you will find:
I School Mission Statement

II Artistic Director Ms. Shan-Yee Poon Bio

III All Teachers' Bio

I: The mission of Shan-Yee Poon Ballet School is to provide students with a high quality dance education in which they can develop into artistically expressive dancers from a diverse population. Our professional staff and training program offers students the opportunity to develop exceptional dance technique with emphasis on solid fundamentals in a challenging, fair and nurturing environment. We encourage all students to discover their potential for excellence and self-confidence. Shan Yee Poon Ballet School strives to produce beautiful dancers that move with grace and confidence not only in dance but in life as well.


II: Artistic Director, Shan-Yee Poon
Trained at the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London, where she spent six years of intensive study. Ms. Poon graduated one year in advance and was immediately accepted as a principal dancer at the State Theater in Gelsenkirchen, West Germany. While at State Theater, Ms. Poon performed for four years in repertoire ranging from classical to post-modern. Since moving to the Bay Area in 1984, Ms. Poon appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Opera Ballet, The Peninsula Ballet, the Ruth Langridge Dance Company and Theater Ballet of San Francisco. As Vice-President of Pear Garden in the West, a Chinese-American Performing Arts Organization, she choreographed and danced the leading role in the famous Chinese folk tale Monkey and the Spider Spirits. She has also staged many delightful children’s ballet productions.


III: Instructor, Monique Brown
Brown began dancing at age three and by age eight she was accepted into the professional training program at San Francisco Ballet School. At SFBS she trained extensively and danced in their company productions. She went on to dance with many companies including Theater Ballet, Berkeley Ballet, Malcolm McFarland and the Dancers Synectics Group. Mrs. Brown has also danced numerous principal roles in ballets such as Swan Lake and Coppelia.


Instructor, Brooke Byrne
Artistic Director of the well-known folk dance company, Khadra International Dance Theatre and dancing with the company since 1987, majored in dance and theater at Bard College in New York. She has performed modern dance and several ethnic style for many companies and independent choreographers in the Bay Area, East Coast, and England, as well as choreographing herself.


Instructor, Carolyn Carvajal
While still in her teens, won a Ford Foundation Grant and, in New York, became an apprentice to the Joffrey Ballet. She joined San Francisco Ballet at age 18, and together with choreographer and husband Carlos Carvajal founded the Dance Spectrum Company, which entertained audiences throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. As Principal Ballerina, many roles were created for her. Ms. Carvajal has performed with the San Francisco Opera for nearly 30 years. She has choreographed Oklahoma and An American in Paris for musical theater companies, show numbers for San Francisco Girls’ Chorus and Ragazzi Boys’ Chorus.


Instructor, Jenya Lum
Jenya Lum studied with City Ballet School under the direction of Damara Bennett. At age 16 she was offered a full tuition scholarship to the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, where she went on to dance in professional roles with Oregon Ballet Theatre. Her performance experience includes works by George Balanchine, August Bournonville, and Lew Christensen, including soloist roles. In addition to ballet she has been trained in jazz, hip hop, modern, flamenco, character dance, and yoga.


Instructor, Sonoo Petty
Our dynamic and energetic jazz and tap teacher, began her dance training withm Ann Barrett from Dancers Synetics Group in San Francisco and has continued training in jazz and tap with Ann Barrett, Ann-Marie Garvin, and Sally Vanloon. In Osaka and Nagoya, Japan, she has taught, choreographed, and performed ballet and jazz. In the U.S., she first taught jazz and tap dance for Dancers, and continues to instruct and choreograph in her two specialties in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Instructor, Laura Sheridan
Studied with the San Francisco Ballet School and appeared in productions of the Nutcracker and A Midsummer’s Night Dream at the San Francisco Opera House. She spent two years training in the professional program, and went on to perform in several musical theater productions. She studied voice for 5 years, performed as a soloist in many venues. Most recently she has taught swimming to children and adults, but her specialty is in working with small children.

Dance Program Descriptions

In this section you will find detailed descriptions of all the courses we offer:

I Toddler Program

II Children and Teen Program

III Adult Program

I Toddler Program: Toddlers explore the world of movement, music, and imagination. They will learn coordination and basic dance technique through activities skillfully designed movement exercises.


TODDLER 1, 2-3 years old (With parent participation). Parents actively participate in this class, helping their child gain confidence and independence. Parents are also encouraged to play at home to reinforce the learning!

TODDLER 2, 3-4 years old (Without parent participation). This age group is ready to go solo ansd focus on their classmates and teachers. They'll learn more complex content and be ready to graduate to our Creative Balletic Movement class (4-5 years old).



II Children and Teen Program: We offer a range of children's classes in Ballet, Character, Jazz, and Tap. Our children's program begins at four years old with Creative Balletic Movement class and continues through teens to our advanced classes. We offer a special Toddler Program for children younger than four. Ages fifteen and older, you can join our Adult classes which are less intensive and available as a series or drop-in.



LOWER DIVISION (4-7 years old)

Creative Balletic Movement (4-5 yrs. old) These young students have a splendid imagination and an abundance of energy, so this class encourages imagination, creativity, musicality and graceful movement. Through storytelling, the children are introduced to pantomime and basic balletic stretches and alignment.Children also learn basic balletic technique, how to follow instruction, and class etiquette.


Preballet (5-6 yrs. old) At five or six years old, the Preballet class introduces more structure, correct placement, and fundamental balletic movements. Students are presented with a careful balance of structure and improvisation. At this stage, students begin to develop their ballet "turnout" positions.


Ballet Junior 1-2 (6-7 yrs. old) The Junior classes conclude the Lower Division. In this class our young students refine their form and simple technique to achieve beauty and precision. They continue to develop strength, flexibility and focus before moving on to Ballet 1 in the Middle Division.


Jazz Junior (6-7 yrs. old) dance emphasizes heavily accented rhythm and syncopation. This is a beginning level class which students learn upbeat, complex rhythms and emphasizes a faster more contemporary style technique where they begin to isolations, turns, traveling jumps & jazz combinations.


Beginning Tap (6-11 yrs. old) the sound created by the feet in a combination of rhythm and movement. These are beginning level classes that incorporate exciting, rythmic dance movements and percussive metal tap shoe sounds. Dancers begin their training with basic shuffles, time steps and more. Then, dancers progress to more complex rhythmic patterns once they have mastered the basic tap techniques.


MIDDLE DIVISION (7-12 years old)

Beginning Ballet (7+ yrs. old) is the entry level class for children with little or no ballet training.


Ballet 1-2 (7-11y rs. old) develops strength, coordination and flexibility through simple barre and center work. Emphasis is on articulate footwork, expressive carriage of the arms and small to medium jumps. Students also begin to explore their own choreographic creativity.


Character 1 (7-11 yrs. old) is a beginning level class in which students learn folk dance styles from different countries around the world. This Character technique class include barre and center work that blends theatrical acting, tap-like footwork, athletic strength and balletic grace.


Character 2 (12-18 yrs. old) is an advanced level class in which students learn more complex folk dance styles from different countries around the world. Character Dance 2 has more advanced barre and center work that blends theatrical acting, tap-like foot work, athletic strength and balletic grace. These character classes prepare the dancers for performing the character dances from famous full length classical ballets such as Swam Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker and Coppelia.


Jazz 1 (6-11 yrs. old) dance emphasizes heavily accented rhythm and syncopation. This is a beginning level class which students learn upbeat, complex rhythms and emphasizes a faster more contemporary style technique where they begin to isolations, turns, traveling jumps & jazz combinations.


Tap 1 (6-11 yrs. old) the sound created by the feet in a combination of rhythm and movement. These are beginning level classes that incorporate exciting, rythmic dance movements and percussive metal tap shoe sounds. Dancers begin their training with basic shuffles, time steps and more. Then, dancers progress to more complex rhythmic patterns once they have mastered the basic tap techniques.


UPPER DIVISION (9-18 years old)

Ballet 3-8 (9-18 yrs. old) adds pointe work (ages 11 and up) to barre and center work. Students move up to advance level technique in their barre exercises and center dance combinations. They will embellish their ballet technique repetoire with more complex adagob, petite allegro and grand allegro dance variations. Pointe work classes will be offered in intermediate and advance levels, they will begin to explore choreography and learn repertory from famous ballets.


Character 2 (12-18 yrs. old) is an advanced level class in which students learn more complex folk dance styles from different countries around the world. Character Dance 2 has more advanced barre and center work that blends theatrical acting, tap-like foot work, athletic strength and balletic grace. These character classes prepare the dancers for performing the character dances from famous full length classical ballets such as Swam Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker and Coppelia.


Jazz 2-4 (12-18 yrs. old) these class levels expand on the basic jazz technique to incorporate more complex jazz rhythm, multiple turns higher leaps and longer dance routines. Jazz 2-4 offers a variety of styles which include: lyrical jazz, commercial jazz, modern jazz and hip hop jazz.


Tap 2-3 (12-18 yrs. old) dance emphasizes quickness and ease. This dance will help them develop a good ear for rhythm and musicality of movement. These classes gradually build to more advance levels. Dancers learn more complex tap rythm and steps. Dance routines incorporates dance rythms and full body movements that are reminiscent of the exciting Broadway dance style.


III Adult Program: If you're looking for a class where the instructors know your name, give you personal attention, and can follow and guide your progress, look no further! These ongoing series begin every six weeks. Enrollment is limited, so sign up early to reserve your spot. If the class limit has not been reached, drop-ins are welcome as well.


Beginning Ballet (12 Classes) This six-week series meets twice a week and is designed for adults with some familiarity with ballet, but beginners with no prior ballet training are also welcomed. Increase flexibility and strength, and develop grace and confidence while learning fundamentals. Repeat the series as oftens as desired to refine your technique.


Elementary/Intermediate Ballet 1 (6 or 12 Classes) This class is designed for adults with at least two years of ongoing ballet training and provides students with individualized training. Gain a deeper knowledge of ballet, refine your technique, increase flexibility, lengthen your muscles, and combine steps to create fun and graceful combinations. Our Monday Ballet 1 is held in our beautiful main studio.
Pointe work may be added when students have gained proficient technical mastery, strength and control. Students must concurrently take Monday ballet in order to take pointe.


Jazz (6 Classes) In these classes, students will build a great sense of rhythm and learn to dance with both quickness and ease. Styles include Lyrical, Commercial, Modern, and Hip Hop. Students learn dynamic movement isolations, parallel positions and syncopated rhythms.

Please note the Wednesday and Friday Series classes are ideal for dancers with a bit of experience and Tuesday class is better suited for beginners.


Tap (6 Classes) Tap dance incorporates exciting, rhythmic dance movements, percussive metal shoe sounds, and Broadway show dance styles. In beginning tap, students begin to learn basic shuffles and time steps. After they are comfortable with the basics, they then progress to more complex rhythmic patterns.




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