Neither strictly “swing” nor particularly “goth,” Swing Goth is a dance studio that turns into a club when the sun sets, with nights devoted to steampunk or rockabilly bands. Those eager to revive the WWII-era Benny Goodman days had best look elsewhere, because this venue on the southeastern extremity of Potrero Hill is unabashedly contemporary – or, perhaps retro-modern. Lit and amplified like any club in SoMa, Swing Goth exists for fun’s sake, not purity’s. If your heart is just fine but you’re afflicted with terrible arrhythmia of the feet, Swing Goth is the perfect place to lose those inhibitions and let the beat move you. Even the congenitally nimble are welcome to swing through and learn some new steps, too.
ZFlow Fitness owner and Zumba instructor Stefanie Canahui first became a believer in the rhythmic fitness routine after shedding 70 pounds with the help of Zumba's motivating movement sessions. Licensed to teach four levels of Zumba—from basics to toning training and gold workouts—Stef leads classes that incorporate energetic dance motions, rhythmic steps, and high-energy Latin-inspired music to evict cupcakes that have overstayed their welcome and promote total-body weight loss.
The Marsh has operated as a major playhouse for San Francisco’s up-and-coming theater circuit for almost 25 years, and has been in their current digs on lower Valencia Street since 1996. More than just another dark and balmy theater venue, the creative space acts as a holistic environment, designed to nurture and develop top new talent from all walks of life. Whether it’s hosting writer’s workshops and master classes on the art of solo performance, or lavishing time and attention on the city’s burgeoning youth theater movement, this school and accompanying performance space is as close an approximation to Off-Off-Broadway theater as the Bay Area has.
San Francisco’s best-known food focused non-profit, La Cocina is a small-business incubator with a national reputation. Having assisted low-income women of color, often foreign-born, with culinary and entrepreneurial flair into the formation of over 30 successful endeavors, La Cocina has won universal admiration among fellow do-gooders and people who like to eat tasty arepas and fried plantains. Beyond their stunningly affordable open houses and ubiquitous presence at nearly every street fair of consequence, the community kitchen in the Mission holds classes open to everyone, where well-regarded chefs lend their talents to this noblest of organizations to inculcate a passion for sausage-, mole- or jam-making in the most food-obsessed city in America. Almost ten years on, La Cocina has become the benchmark by which every altruistic crowd-funding campaign in the food world is measured.
According to Sidewalk Food Tours of San Francisco, it's not the Golden Gate Bridge that ties the city together. It's the gooey cheese of its family pizzerias, the chocolate truffles of its dessert shops, and all of the region's other cuisines that help define the various neighborhoods—and their walking tours aim to introduce participants to those local flavors. In the Mission District, for instance, Sidewalk Food Tours' knowledgeable guides lead groups through tastings of tacos, falafel, and French-style bakery treats. In North Beach, they show how a large Italian American population resulted in restaurants that have endured more than 100 years. Along each route, the guides also impart facts about the neighborhood's history and culture, and reveal which buildings are built on a foundation of provolone cheese.