El K - Portland, OR
Best Salsa Sundays anywhere in the Bay Area !
Being a ballroom, as opposed to a club, it's nice to dance at a place where folks aren't anywhere from buzzed to blasted (although personally, a Margarita in me usually increases my bravery to ask ladies to dance...). Also, one of the few venues an underage person can learn how to salsa.
The best thing about Allegro:
~ the teachers....flat out, if you wanna learn to Salsa and cannot afford private lessons, go here ! Gary and Isabelle on Sundays are the BEST group teachers anywhere in the Bay Area. They connect with the crowd, are genuine and warm people, and really teach the moves clearly and very well.
One of the FEW group salsa lessons where the woman teacher actually (gasp) SPEAKS !!!! (What the hell's up with that anyway ?)
These two have a great system developed...start with the footwork...then get into the entire move. Very personable...they stick around and invite you to ask them for one-on-one help throughout the evening.
And Isabelle's outfits, alone ...not to mention her occasional unintentional double entendres and freudian slips.... are worth the price of admission right there....
Sundays beginner lessons are at like 6:30, intermediate at 7:30 then it's a dance party from 8:30 'til 1 usually. A very well-attended venue.
As the night progresses, beginners tend to filter out and hardcore dancers tend to filter in.
However, all in all, the people here do not have attitude...it's a very safe and inviting place to dance...the crowd is diverse in all meanings of the word....age, skill level, culture/race, you name it.....
Dance floor is huge, plenty of seating, free water/tea/coffee...nice place.
Tammy C. - San Francisco, CA
When it comes to Salsa dancing, I learned most from Allegro Ballroom. It has 1 major room and a couple smaller rooms, each with different types of music. I came here on Sunday evening where you can learn how to salsa, then salsa your way into the night. Add some bachata to it while you spice up the evening.
This is not just a place for fun, but for serious fun. You learn the steps very quickly as the instructors are humorous but are also very detailed and they articulate the steps with ample practice. After all, this is supposed to be very enjoyable.
Dancing is an easy and exciting activity that after 6 hours and your feet tired, you leave with sweet sweat and if you do it a couple more times, you can lose all that extra weight. It's way more exhilarating than spending time running like a little mouse on the mill.
Erenesto D. - San Pablo, CA
Garry and Isabelle are two awesome dance instructors!
Sunday nights are awesome here! $12 for non members and you get 2 lessons along with everyone else that shows up to class. Usually there's more women than males, so it is best to bring a dancing partner (your partner does not have to rotate). Great instructors! They explain everything so well and if you have a question they'll break it down where you'll get it quick! There's two big dance floors and Sunday nights is taught on the dance floor that is avail as soon as you walk in.
The cool thing is that people come here to dance. So when a guy asks a girl out to dance she's willing to say yes. I haven't come across a time where a girl has denied a guy. Everybody is there to learn. You'll see guys showing off their moves on the dance floors (you know they've been dancing for a while). The ones who attended the beginner and intermediate class are there to practice and get better. You have your regulars and I've gone more as of recent so you might find me there on Sunday nights. Practice makes perfect. Everyone here is friendly and people are willing to help and give you tips if you ask. Great vibe overall! If you want to dance the night away (Sunday night) and get your salsa on then this is the place to go!
Miss M - San Francisco, CA
Sunday nights = Salsa at Allegro Ballroom.
My favorite place to just dance, dance, dance. I agree with other reviewers' comments. There is something almost goofy-wholesome about the place. There are soda machines and free water coolers in the back room, and the ballroom floor is beautiful without a single scuff mark. But if you want to salsa and practice what you've learnt, this is the best place in the Bay Area. Totally safe for a single lady, and you don't need to worry about bringing a partner.
Garry and Isabelle teach (well-attended) classes from 6-8pm, and the place fills up afterwards. There aren't many places that have a hopping dance floor at 8:30pm, but Allegro does more often than not. Casual dress. You'll see some women in fringed dresses and others in tanks and yoga pants. If you want to learn, you have to dance with different leaders. Allegro consistently has terrific leaders. Don't discount that older gent asking you to dance; he may surprise you and turn out to be a Cuban-style salsa king or a former amateur ballroom competitor. Seriously. People are there to dance.
Marissa P. - Vallejo, CA
I am NOT a good dancer. I have two left feet. The person who is stepping on other people's toes--that's me. But part of my resolution to change has been to get out of my comfort zone. And, going down my list, dancing has been an item that's been continuously avoided. But I finally swallowed my pride, put on my cutest outfit, and slunk into a Sunday night drop-in Salsa dance class with Garry and Isabelle.
Can we say intimidation factor?! There had to have been 50 people there, all of whom were light years ahead of me. This whole counting and moving to those counts--they lost me completely. I couldn't hear a beat to save my life.
But . . . Isabelle is amazing. I could have watched her all night. She took pity on me and helped me out, and, voila, I was dancing like crazy! Ha, yeah right! I can't say that I'm becoming a great dancer, much less a good one. But I AM gaining confidence, and I AM getting better. I'm gritting my teeth and hoping I'm not as red as I feel, but I'm determined to stick with it. With Isabelle and Garry teaching, I actually think there might be hope for me. At least I can almost hear the beat now!
Vivian S. - San Francisco, CA
This is the best ballroom in town. I like the diversity (all ages and ethnicities), the crowd is quite international. The teachers are top quality, which I can't say that about all dance places. They do a good job at filtering through the mediocre dancers. The location is also pretty convenient, right off the freeway. Highly recommend for all dancers of all levels.
Amy C. - San Francisco, CA
Allegro saved me from being a "City Snob."
I live in SF, work in SF, and have lots of yumminess and fun right outside my doorstep. Also, I ain't gonna lie, I am one lazy mofo. All the ingredients for Insta-City-Snobbery.
Thank god for my salsa friends and instructors who encouraged me to check out Allegro Ballroom. I would gladly cross bridges and tunnels to get here!
The instructors for Sunday's salsa lessons were great. I caught the end of the beginner class and all of the intermediate class ($12). The class was WAY too large for my taste but the space was large enough to accommodate.
And after the lessons - Salsa Party Time! Like my beloved Cafe Cocomo, the crowd here is friendly and diverse.
Cafe Cocomo was the place to go for the live-band-&-dress-to-kill-&-show-off-yo'-salsa-moves thing. But the learn-and-improve-your-salsa-game thing is hot too and Allegro is definitely the place to do it. I got some great tips from fellow dancers and had tons o' fun.
Who knew Emeryville was so happenin'? (IKEA doesn't count).
Corey G. - Richland, WA
Moving to the Bay Area would SO be worth it, if only for places like this on a Sunday night.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I knew I was at a serious salsa place. I mean, you had a parking lot filling up fast, people dressed to the nines, and people who just oozed dancing skills by the way they looked and strutted in the parking lot. Needless to say, I was practically cowering in my vehicle as I watched this from inside my rental.
I went in.
Oh man, it was everything I envisioned, but way more. The place is HUGE. As soon as you open the door you are on the dance floor (well, you're at the place to pay first, and then you're on the dance floor). The dance floor was hanger-like, BUT it was super-packed.
I quickly walked away from the entry (after I wiped slobber on my sleeve)---I didn't want to be caught gawking like a rookie! So, I did my usual: I scoped the joint and checked out every nook & crannie (like what I do at any new bar...or club). There were a couple of other dancing rooms; in one people were practicing, and the other was an honest to goodness bachata-only room!
Back to the salsa room. I had fun just watching all the dancers. You had every skill level on the floor. There were lots of people watching, it looked like the ratio was fairly even, so if you were in want of a partner, you could probably find one. When all is said and done, I only watched. I liked the joint! I see it in my future again.
Sandra S. - San Pablo, CA
Why have I been searching for salsa lessons all up and through SF when there is something in my backyard????
My friend has been saying she's been going salsa lessons for months.
No way did I think it was like this until I finally decided to get out the house on a Sunday night.
Boy was I happy I went :)
This place was totally not what I had dreamt of in my head.
Yea there were a lot of folks there and with everyone dancing all around you it can seem pretty intimating but you get the hang of it and learn to love it.
As one gentlemen said to me while asking me to dance, you can't learn unless you get up and do it :)
Nolwenn S - San Francisco, CA