Summer Ballet Season on Muni

As Light as Air
Photo by Flickr user aussiegall

San Francisco is lucky to have two great ballet companies right here in the city:  The San Francisco Ballet and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet. However, along with these formidable dance institutions comes summer dance camp. You know it’s summer in the city when the teeny tiny little 14 year olds arrive on the #5 Fulton.

Every summer they arrive after the 4th of July and stay for a few weeks. The girls (and occasional boy) all stay at the vacant dorms at USF, but the ballet companies are all near the Civic Center. So every morning they all get on the bus in the middle of rush hour traffic. The #5 doesn’t get a lot of school kids in the morning so the ballerinas are an unwelcome gaggle of chatterboxes for the morning commuters.

An audible groan goes through the bus as the girls pack into the aisles. The girls all look alike- tight buns, tiny waists and legs, huge bags brimming with teenage crap, baggy black sweats with various dance companies advertised on the legs, and flip flops. The flip flops reveal the imperfection of these seemingly perfect little soldiers of ballet- they have the worst feet in the world. To be only 14 and already have the bunions and hammertoes of a woman seven times your age would be horrifying to me.

The other really weird thing about the ballet dancers — none of them can stay standing on the bus. I mean there’s a bar to hold onto and you balance yourself — it’s not that difficult for a lay person to do, and isn’t that what they do all day long? So every morning there’s a domino effect of dancers falling over when the bus lurches around Central and McAllister, accompanied by an eruption of teenage giggles. I wonder how many young dance careers have ended on the #5 by some girl who fell over and tore something.

Spot any young ballerinas or other interesting characters on Muni lately? Tell us your tales of public transit.


  • How delightful! I want to take that bus just to see them.

  • Paula

    No you don’t. These are among the most vapid, vacuous, vicious, artificially created socially heirarchy enforcing little brats it’s ever been my misfortune to have to overhear.

    They also crowd the door. It’s really fun to have to push your way through 6 of them packed in the door when there is room to move forward or back on the bus, especially with their huge bags of crap. They’re also, as a group, so self involved that they seem surprised every time someone needs to get through their group to get off the bus.

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