Lisa Brown, Owner Sunset Academy of Dance San Francisco


Lisa Brown (Owner, Tap and Children's Jazz) grew up in San Francisco and took dance lessons from the late Lorna Fordyce. She began teaching at Lorna's studio when she was just 16 years old.  It was at that time that she realized her passion for teaching. 

Lisa loves inspiring young dancers and introducing them to the exciting art of dance (especially tap).  She has taught for years throughout the Bay Area at several dance studios before opening her own studio in 1997.  She also has the pleasure of currently teaching tap at Adda Clevenger Junior Preparatory School in San Francisco.

Lisa especially enjoys the experience of owning her own studio and working with her wonderful students and talented teachers. She takes great pride in teaching the fundamentals of dance while having fun!

Darnell Carroll

Darnell Carroll (Hip Hop) is one of the Bay Area’s leading hip hop dance choreographers/instructors. He brings over 25 years of hip hop dance training, performance, competition, and showcase productions to Sunset Academy of Dance.

Darnell specializes in teaching the art of Hip Hop dance and culture in both adult and youth Hip Hop programs. He has worked at Club One Fitness and various programs throughout the San Francisco and South San Francisco Unified School Districts.

He is also the director of Funk Beyond Control, a hip hop dance company.

Karen Chew

Karen Chew (Jazz) fell in love with dance at the age of 4.  Her love of dance drove her to learn various styles ranging from tap, ballet, jazz, hawaiian, and hip hop.  She began teaching dance when she was 13 and continued taking and teaching classes throughout high school and college. 

Immediately after college, Karen joined Culture Shock, a Bay area hip hop performing group where she also served as administrative director.  After a brief run with the Warrior Girls, she decided to
focus on her career as an elementary school teacher. 

Karen constantly incorporated dance into her curriculum and often volunteered to choreograph the school musicals which combined her love of dance with her love of youth. 

After taking a year off to give birth to her 3rd child, Karen is happy to return to the Sunset family where she can continue spreading her love and passion for dance to the next generation.

Mario Ponce

Mario Ponce (Hip Hop) was born and raised in San Francisco, where he started dancing at age 17.Mario has been the co-director of FBC for seven years. He choreographed for Oakland based Future Shock and Mini Shock, 2005/2006 Hip Hop International world champions, as well as for Funk Beyond Control.

Mario teaches dance at Sunset Academy of Dance, DC Productions and for the San Francisco Unified School District. He also does all the music production for FBC, and produces mix tapes for hip hop dance companies across the U.S. and Canada.


Sarah Wydler (Hip Hop, Tap and Jazz) was born and raised in the Bay Area and started dancing at age 3. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical at Daly City Dance Academy/North Peninsula Ballet Company until she was 16. She then decided to focus on her ballet training at Ballet Pacifica and Classical Ballet of California until age 21. During her 20's she begin studying the art of Hip Hop dance. 

Sarah has performed in various ballets and musical productions throughout the Bay Area. She is currently dancing with Funk Beyond Control Dance Company in San Francisco. Sarah is also a California Credentialed Fourth Grade Teacher at Sunshine Gardens Elementary School in South San Francisco. 

Sarah says, "Dance has shaped me into the person that I am today, and I am very blessed to have the opportunity to share the gift of dance and all of its benefits with my students. Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain!

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Sunset Academy of Dance
1337 Irving Street San Francisco, CA  94122
Phone: 415.731.9921

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