The Bunion: Dance Moms… San Francisco Edition

By Emmaly Wiederholt and Maggie Stack

Dear Lifetime:

Not all eight-year-old dancers aspire to be competition winners. Out here in San Francisco, our young dancers have other aspirations. However, our dance moms are just as fierce as any dance moms anywhere. Take a look…


Specimen One: Noe, age 9, daughter of Margaret and Bill Goldman

Neighborhood: Noe Valley

Academy: Starlight Multidisciplinary Arts Academy

Aspirations: Become a multidisciplinary artist fusing elements of poetry, video, and modern dance

Drama: Mrs. Goldman chose Starlight for its emphasis on multifaceted development. She wants Noe to succeed in getting her first NEA grant by age 16 and won’t settle for anything less than four hours daily practice of motion inspired song.



Specimen Two:
Zena (pronounced Zen-uh), age 7, daughter of Willow and Harmony Morris

Neighborhood: Bernal Heights

Academy: Long Limb Short Branch Academy for the Young and Thoughtful

Aspirations: Become a Butoh dancer

Drama: Both mothers are intensely keen on watching Zena’s development at Long Limb Short Branch. They worry that Zena is capped in her growth by San Francisco’s city walls and often take her on weekend excursions to Mount Tamalpais to practice her rock-tree dance caked and to listen to the earth with her ears pressed against the dirt.




Specimen Three:
Ko, age 10, daughter of Cho Lang and Chuck Smith

Neighborhood: Inner Richmond

Academy: The Performance Institute for the Candid Spirit

Aspirations: Become a performance artist who fuses movement and language

Drama: Mrs. Lang knows Ko is good at emoting sorrow but worries she’s not convincing enough at projecting psychotic anger. She urges Ko to practice yelling explosive profanities in public arenas like the Westfield Mall, and to pull her inspiration from the natural pedestrians around her.





Specimen Four: Haydn, age 11, son of Olga Kolapov and Ricky Martinez

Neighborhood: Lower Haight

Academy: The School of Uninhibited Motion

Aspirations: Become a site-specific improvisational release dancer

Drama: Mrs. Kolapov worries that the year of ballet training Haydn received as a 6 year old has negatively affected his ability to make free associations and relate to his environment. His improvisational choices aren’t human enough and she regrets his early ballet training. She pressures him to investigate his body in space and time more.

3 Responses to “The Bunion: Dance Moms… San Francisco Edition”

  1. Kristin

    I wish my dance mom would have encouraged me to yell profanities at the Westfield Mall. Rock on Ko and Mrs. Lang! I freakin LOVE your Bunion(s)!:)

  2. Jamie Wright

    This is very funny! The thought of a child Butoh dancer is hilarious! Only in San Francisco, only in the Mission (or near Mission).

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