Star Dance History
Star Dance History

A brief history
By Micky Powell

Star Dance Studio was founded in 1950 in San Francisco by my mother, Ruth B. Jevarian. She had been a professional dancer, but gave up her career after she was married. Eventually, she began teaching ballet to some of the neighborhood children and opened her first school in the Haight Ashbury district. At that time 1563 Page Street was The Armenian Rosdom Hall. Dad owned the street level grocery store where we all worked and Mom rented the big hall upstairs to teach her dance classes. The Granada Tile Co. was next door. Today all three locations house The Urban School of San Francisco. Our home was in the Sunset District at Tenth Avenue and Ortega Street, and at mom's request, Dad had the basement of the house converted into a small dance studio.

Mom ran Star Dance Studio for 25 years. She was amazingly talented and creative and was able to teach all forms of dance. Ballet, of course, tap, jazz and acrobatics too. She also taught character dances; Armenian, Russian, Hungarian, Spanish, Irish, Hawaiian, even the Mexican Hat Dance. She gave a lot to the community. It was not uncommon for her to give free dance lessons to a child if the family couldn't afford lessons. She provided free entertainment for anyone who needed it.

In 1974 mom retired and turned the school over to me. She found a dance partner and went on to enjoy the senior circuit of ballroom dancing. I continued what she had started, thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. I've always considered myself lucky to be doing what I love and loving what I do. I grew up in the world of dance and taught my first class when I was just 16.

The school has flourished and a 3rd generation dance teacher is hard at work. I have a beautiful and talented daughter, Julie Craig, who also loves to dance and loves to teach. In fact, she too, taught her first class at the age of 16! Besides raising a family and maintaining a fulltime Marketing career, Julie enjoys teaching 6 classes here every Saturday.

For over 60 years Star Dance Studio has brought pleasure to thousands of children and adults. In July 1996, after a short illness, my mother passed on to dance in the stars. On January 19th, 1997, we dedicated this lovely studio on Moraga Street to the memory of my mother, Ruth Jevarian.