Decoding Ballet

Hello all!

 So, as many of you know, aside from teaching dance five days a week, I also work for a lovely little company in San Francisco: Smuin Ballet. This last Wednesday, SF software magnate GitHub hosted us for our first ever Decoding Ballet seminar. Seeing as how, over the last few years, my lovely city has experienced a boom of successful young people in the tech industry, I thought it was an intriguing way to develop a connection between the arts and technology.

The presentation was primarily on the process and nuances of creating dance, both classical and contemporary. I love that Smuin Ballet is so not what people typically think of as ballet. Yes, they’re a group of brilliant, classically trained technicians, but the company’s ability to adapt to a variety of styles and genres of dance is uniquely impressive. Founder, Michael Smuin, had a strong presence on Broadway, in addition to the ballet world, and it shows in many of his works that are still performed today. It’s ballet but totally accessible- entertaining as well as beautiful.

Heard enough good things about Smuin? Ok! Let’s get to my inside look of the GitHub offices!

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Oh, hey, look! It’s a replica of the oval office. This is the very first thing you see when entering their office space. I’m still wondering if it’s a functional office, or just a great photo opportunity.


Aside from the dancers performing, we also made the GitHub employees get up and dance with us. I though it was so great that they were so willing to get up and dance with the pros!


Product placement anyone? After the presentation, we all headed over to the GitHub bar for a quick happy hour. They ordered pizza for all of us, and promised that they had cut it small because it wasn’t technically part of a “dancer’s diet.” Adorably thoughtful group, those GitHub people.


Here’s the view opposite of the bar. They pretty much have an entirely functioning bar/restaurant embedded in their office. Necessary? I think so!



We all enjoyed chatting and mixing all our happy hour cocktails ourselves! I was quite proud of this concoction: Bulleit bourbon, ginger beer, and lime juice. Yum! I’m hoping we have more of these events in the future- ballet has always been packaged as an almost elitist, hyper-dignified art form, but certainly doesn’t have to be. It’s incredibly encouraging to see all the ongoing progress, while still managing to preserve the classics. Who says tech and performing arts can’t go together? Heck, even if your only involvement is attending performances, it’s never a waste. It’s an uplifting life experience, and there’s always champagne!

That’s all for now. Have a great weekend everyone!


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