Information for Dancers
at the San Francisco Contra Weekend
This page contains copies of the E-mail notices that have been sent out to the dancers who have registered for the weekend.
Prepare to Promenade in Purple (August 5)
We're counting down to a great Balance the Bay weekend only 9 days from now. We'll be sending you more information in a few days about what you can look forward to, but right now we want to give you some lead time to choose your dancing duds for our Saturday night "Promenade in Purple".
Put on your juiciest purples for a fabulous Saturday evening of dancing: amethyst, grape, hyacinth, lavender, plum, or any shade from red to blue. (And if you say that green is the new purple, who are we to argue?
Here's a hint for those who are not inclined to spend a lot of time choosing what to wear: This year's T-shirts are purple. All you have to do is buy one and wear it!
We are looking forward to dancing with you.
-- the BtB committee
Welcome Letter (August 8)
Welcome to our second annual Balance the Bay. We're planning a glorious weekend of contra dance, music, and companionship, and we're glad you will be part of it. This letter should tell you something about what to expect, and help you enjoy our new location at the Janet Pomeroy Center.
What to bring:
- Dance shoes, or comfortable shoes with clean, non-marking soles.
- Dance clothes, extra shirts, etc.
- Something purple to wear for Saturday night.
- Coffee mug and/or refillable water bottle, with your name on it. Brown-bag lunch if you don't want to go out for lunch.
- (Please, nothing that needs to be heated or refrigerated, unless it's a medical issue.)
- Musical instruments for jam sessions.
- Money for buying dresses, t-shirts, CDs, and going out for lunch.
- A windbreaker or jacket. It can get cold when the fog rolls in.
- Your enthusiasm for contra dancing.
What to leave behind:
- Your troubles.
- Food that needs to be heated or refrigerated.
If you get this as an E-mail, you are registered. We expect full attendance, about 230 dancers. If you're reading this online, we do have a waiting list, in case of last-minute cancellations. If you have registration or waiting-list questions, call Jens at 510 886 6549 or visit http://bacds.org/btb/feedback.html#registration
We have updated our cancellation policy. If you cancel and we can fill your place from the waiting list, you will get a partial refund. Details at http://bacds.org/btb/cancellation.html
Arriving by plane:
If you are flying in and would like an airport pickup, contact our hospitality crew as soon as possible. If we have some lead time, we can probably find you a ride. But no guarantees. http://bacds.org/btb/feedback.html#hospitality
Arriving by car:
Full driving directions will be sent in a separate E-mail. Things you should know: The address is 207 Skyline Boulevard, but there is no entrance from Skyline. Enter "100 Zoo Rd, San Francisco" into Google, Yahoo, Mapquest, or your GPS for more accurate directions.
There are at least 200 on-street parking spaces on Zoo Road and Herbst Road right next to the site. There's nobody else around except for the back side of the Zoo, so we get to use all the spaces.
Carpooling is a good idea, for company and for saving gas. You can use this mailing list <firstname.lastname@example.org> to arrange carpools if you like.
The Muni #18 bus drops you right in front of the Janet Pomeroy Center on its southbound route, and just across Skyline Boulevard on its northbound route. The #23 and #29 buses will get you to the corner of Sloat and Skyline, about a 5-minute walk away. Use http://511.org to plan your trip.
By now, we should have found accommodations for everyone who requested hospitality. We also have a list of local hotels at http://bacds.org/btb/hotel-guide.html. Contact our hospitality crew if you have questions or concerns: http://bacds.org/btb/feedback.html#hospitality
The doors open at 7:00 pm on Friday the 14th. Anyone arriving before that will be welcome to join the setup crew. Dancing starts at 8:00 pm on Friday, and 10:00 am on Saturday and Sunday.
Balance the Bay is run by volunteer effort. Your contribution is always welcome. If you signed up for work-trade when you registered, our volunteer coordinator will contact you before the weekend. If you can make it to our pre-weekend preparation party on Thursday afternoon/evening, August 13, let Jens know at 510 886 6549. For other questions about volunteering and work-trade assignments, see http://bacds.org/btb/feedback.html#volunteer
The schedule is posted online at http://bacds.org/btb/schedule.html and will be available in printed form at the dance hall.
Saturday night dance:
The theme for Saturday night's dance is "Promenade in Purple." Wear something purple, wear blue and red and spin fast, or just declare that whatever you have on is "purple."
On Friday and Saturday nights, you can expect to mingle a bit after the dancing ends. But by midnight, everyone should be at least starting to head home, to get rested up for the next day of dancing. On Sunday, everyone who is still in the hall after 5:00 pm will become part of the cleanup crew.
Sunday night dance:
The Sunday night dance is not officially part of Balance the Bay; it's the regular San Francisco Contra Dance. But it's the same band and caller, and it's only 3 miles north of the Janet Pomeroy Center. You can get there on the #18 bus. The dance starts at 7 pm, and costs $12 ($10 for BACDS members).
The dance hall is a gym with a sprung floor (the modern, rubber-pad kind of sprung rather than the old-fashioned wood-sprung type). There's room for six lines with at least 19 couples in each, and doors for ventilation on all four corners.
The main hall will be used for snacks, dining, information and sales tables, and just hanging out. It has a fireplace and a big window overlooking Lake Merced. There are also balconies overlooking the lake, and a grassy courtyard. There are plenty of rest rooms, so you shouldn't have to wait.
Bring your instrument if you want to jam. There will be an instrument check area behind the information desk. There are lots of great jamming locations, in the hallways, courtyard, balconies, and the workshop room (when not in use for workshops).
Supper on Saturday is part of the event. We will be serving a sit-down meal for everyone. Plan to be there. If you can't be there, let us know. We can let someone in from the waiting list.
Breakfasts and Lunches:
Breakfasts and lunches are on your own. We suggest you eat breakfast before you arrive. You can bring your own lunch and enjoy the company, or go out to one of the local restaurants with a few friends. There's a partial list of local restaurants on the web site, and printed copies will be available at the information table.
Thanks to all who contributed to the snack fund. We will have a variety of healthy (and less-healthy-but-yummy) snacks available throughout the weekend.
Ingredients and Special Diets:
Ingredients lists will be posted for the dinner menu and the snacks, where appropriate. We hope to offer enough variety to meet everyone's dietary concerns. If you have special needs or concerns (other than what you indicated on your registration), contact our food crew: http://bacds.org/btb/feedback.html#food
We will provide water (with or without lemon), coffee, and tea. Anything else is up to you. We encourage you to bring your own coffee mug and refillable water bottle to cut down on waste. Put your name on them, please.
Colds and flu are always with us, even in the summer. Please protect yourself by washing your hands before you eat or drink, and protect others by using the spoons and scoops provided to pick up food for your snack plate.
We are trying to minimize our total garbage impact. We will provide bins for recycling cans, bottles, and plastic cups. We will also be collecting paper plates, napkins, cups, and food waste for composting, and we will wash and reuse plastic tableware. Please help us by putting things in the right disposal bins.
Fragrance Free policy:
Please help our chemical-sensitive dancers by avoiding perfumes and deodorants and hairsprays that leave a chemical residue in the air. Air you clothes before wearing them, and use soap and water to clean up. We'll all breathe a little easier.
It is our policy not to explicitly gender balance this event. This year, we are likely to be 10% out of balance, with about 23 extra women in a crowd of 230. Do your bit to help by being willing to dance with someone of the same gender, and by making sure you give people who are sitting on the sidelines first dibs on asking you for the next dance.
Booking ahead, and center-line syndrome:
Please don't. Dance with your friends, yes, but leave some dances for meeting new people, and take the time to cruise the sidelines before you line up for the next dance.
For our take on smoking, alcohol, harassment, and such, visit http://bacds.org/btb/policies.html.
This welcome letter, and other useful information, is also posted at http://bacds.org/btb/dancer-info.html. If you want to send an E-mail to all attendees (to arrange car- pooling, jamming, or whatever, send it to <email@example.com>
Bring some. We've got some ideas, but yours may be better. We're looking forward to dancing with you.
-- the BtB committee
Driving Directions to Balance the Bay (August 9)
Driving directions to the Janet Pomeroy Center 207 Skyline Boulevard, San Francisco
Although the address is 207 Skyline Boulevard, there is no entrance on Skyline. The entrance is on Zoo Road.
If you are using a GPS or an online map service, enter "100 Zoo Rd" as the destination.
If you are using a paper map, locate the San Francisco Zoo. It's in the south-west corner of the city, bounded by Sloat Boulevard on the north, Skyline Boulevard on the east, and the Great Highway on the south and west. The Janet Pomeroy Center is nestled against the zoo on the eastern side, just across Skyline from Lake Merced.
The JPC occupies a little triangular block, with the sharp point to the north. The east side is Skyline Boulevard. The west side is variously labelled as Herbst Road or Zoo Road. The south side is labelled Zoo Road or Armory Road. Sorry for the ambiguity. Traffic flows one way around the triangle. You enter from Skyline going south on Herbst/Zoo, turn left on Zoo/Armory, and exit again on Skyline.
From the north, over the Golden Gate bridge, you can take 19th Ave to Sloat Boulevard, turn right on Sloat, then left on Skyline and Herbst/Zoo will be your first right. You may also want to take the scenic route down the Great Highway along the beach, then left on Sloat to Skyline.
From the south, come up 280. You can take the Pacifica exit for Hwy 1 south and then get off on Skyline Boulevard going north, or you can continue up to 19th and turn left (you may need to make 3 right turns here) on Sloat. Or there are lots of other ways to go, including John Daly Boulevard and the Sunset.
From the east, over the Bay Bridge, go through the city as if you are going south on 280, and get off at Junipero Serra/John Daly Boulevard. Take John Daly west to Skyline and turn north. Or you can get off the freeway earlier and make your way through the city on your own.
From the regular SF contra location at 43rd and Judah, go south on 43rd to Sloat, turn left, then right on Skyline.
There's plenty of parking on Herbst/Zoo/Armory roads. It's all at 90 degrees to the curb. Pay attention to the spaces marked for handicapped parking. They care a lot about that at JPC. And we do have some dancers who need them. Also try not to park in front of the bus stop shelter across from the JPC entrance.
When exiting onto Skyline, you may find it easier to turn right (south) and go around the zoo to head north on the Great Highway rather than waiting for an opening to turn left.
To get to the San Francisco Contra on Sunday, go north to Sloat, turn left (from Skyline) and then right on 43rd, and go north to Judah. Alternatively, go south on Skyline, turn right to go north on the Great Highway to Sloat, turn right on Sloat and left on 43rd. But it's probably better to leave your car parked at the JPC and take the #18 bus to the dance and back. Parking spaces closer to the dance than the 46th & Judah bus stop are hard to find.