Miss Tilly's Ballet and Theater Arts

Miss Tilly has taught ballet to the young people of San Francisco for more than 40 years.  She has introduced more than 10,000 budding ballerinas and danseurs to the joy and discipline of classical movement and music in a warm, supportive and beautiful environment.

Session I: September 26 - January 28 | Session 2: January 30 - May 12

Ballet Teachers

Miss Tilly


Miss Tilly’s standards of excellence come from her own professional ballet training.  Her parents gave her ballet lessons at The San Francisco Ballet School for her eleventh birthday and Miss Tilly left her first class completely entranced with dance. 

Miss Tilly trained and then danced professionally with the San Francisco Ballet Company during a very exciting era.  She and the other company members traveled internationally as American ambassadors for the United States Government.  The San Francisco Ballet Company toured countries in the Far East, South America and the Middle East, performing in grand opera houses for kings of countries that no longer exist as well as on hand-crafted stages for communities who had never seen women in tutus before.

After Miss Tilly stopped dancing professionally she taught at The San Francisco Ballet School for six years.  Her early dancing and teaching experience was under the tutelage of the Christensen brothers, the founders of San Francisco Ballet School and Company. The dancers and teachers trained by the Christensens have always been among the most respected and successful in the world of professional dance.

Miss Tilly began her own ballet school forty years ago.  Her mother, Irene Abbe, was a master teacher at The Hamlin School.  The combination of Miss Tilly’s own classical dance training and study combined with her natural affinity for children and teaching, inculcated by her mother’s profession, made the idea of beginning her own school compelling.  Miss Tilly converted the basement of her Victorian house on California Street into a lovely ballet studio and began teaching the children of San Francisco.

Since then, generations of San Francisco’s children have been introduced to the beauty and wonder of ballet and classical music by Miss Tilly.

Through Miss Tilly’s program, children will learn coordination, musical awareness, and rhythm development, in addition to classical ballet technique. One of many aspects differentiating Miss Tilly’s program from other ballet schools is that Miss Tilly’s young dancers are accompanied by professional pianists in every class. The beauty of classical music helps to guide the students as they learn to marry movement and music.

Miss Tilly teaches her students much more than dance. Her students learn to focus, develop listening skills, and work beautifully in a group by exercising self discipline and demonstrating respect for themselves and their fellow dancers. All of this learning happens in a joyful, warm, and supportive environment.

Miss Anna


Miss Anna joined Miss Tilly’s ballet as a dance instructor in 2011 and her students, her fellow teachers and our pianists are so pleased that she did!  Miss Anna is a wonderful teacher and example to our students.  Anna began dancing at the age of 5, and knew she had found her life’s calling.

Anna’s career has spanned the country and has included spots with respected dance teams, including the renowned “Rangerettes” in Kilgore, Texas. Throughout her years performing, she also worked as a teacher, sharing her love of ballet with younger dancers, providing instruction and choreography to performance camps and dance schools, including “The Starmakers” in Texas.

When Anna moved to San Francisco in 2006, she continued to study ballet, and expanded her dance knowledge base to include jazz and modern dance at City College of San Francisco.  She performed with Luana’s Dance Company and Kirsten Williams’ Strong Current Dance Company in the Bay Area.

Anna used her experience with modern and Hip-Hop dance, when she auditioned for and successfully earned a spot on the Oakland Raiders’ Raiderettes.  Miss Anna was a professional cheerleader for the team from 2009 – 2012.  She eventually became a team captain and received awards for “Most Inspirational Cheerleader,” voted by her teammates, and “Raiderette of the Year.”  One of her favorite experiences, while working as a Raiderette, came when she participated as a teacher in the Junior Raiderette Program.

Over the entire span of her dance life, Anna has found herself in the role of teacher, both to her peers as a captain of her dance teams and to children at camps and schools. Anna possesses the qualities necessary to be a good teacher; tremendous passion for dance and the ability to share that passion by combining kindness and joy with discipline and structure to create the best learning environment for your young dancers.