A Stylish Ballerina’s Guide To Hayes Valley

Spending the day with a professional ballerina? Yeah, it pretty much fulfills all of our girlhood dreams of tutus and toe shoes. That’s why we tapped soloist in the San Francisco Ballet, Dores Andre to show us around. She's gorgeous, stylish, and talented beyond belief — and just happens to have the insider's vantage point to Hayes Valley.
Hayes has become a second home for Andre. So, naturally, we tagged along with her for an afternoon of shopping and eating — and she was so kind as to show us some of her mind-bending (and body-bending) moves along the way. Plus, any babe who can rock a romper on the daily has our full-fledged support. Prepare yourselves for some serious inspiration, and nab yourself a ticket to this year's Nutcracker, already!
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Tell us about what you do.
"I’m a soloist with the San Francisco Ballet. Basically, I get paid to dance. Lucky me."

Dores paying Juice Shop a visit in a Cameo shirt purchased at Acrimony, vintage jacket, skirt from Ver Unica, Zara boots, and Karen Walker sunglasses. https://www.shopacrimony.com/
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
How old were you when you started dancing and what first drew you to it?
"11 years old, which is pretty late for ballerinas. I was doing swimming and I was swallowing too much water so my mom said, 'Let’s do something athletic that’s out of the water.' So, I started doing karate and ballet. I picked ballet over karate because I liked the other dancers and I picked ballet over swimming because I couldn’t chat with my friends underwater."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
How did your career unfold?
"I grew up and began dancing in Vigo, Spain. I moved across the country to Zaragoza when I was 13 to a bigger ballet school, Maria de Avila, where I was properly taught how to dance. I really had no idea before that. Turns out I was making steps up and didn’t know the name for anything. I loved the place, I loved how much I could learn, and I loved the people. When I was 17, I moved to Florence and danced there for a bit, and then moved to San Francisco when I was 19. I’ve been with the San Francisco Ballet for almost nine seasons, and I was promoted to soloist a few years ago."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Do you travel a lot for work? How has your international lifestyle affected your personal style?
"We tour about once a year — we’re lucky to be able to dance in places like Iceland, China, Copenhagen, and New York. I definitely see things in other places that inspire me. I remember Icelanders had the coolest sweatshirts I’d ever seen. In London, I noticed my all-black color palette wasn’t necessarily weird. In Copenhagen, everyone’s just beautiful. I’m not even sure that’s a style."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
How long have you been with the San Francisco Ballet and when did you become a soloist?
"Nine seasons; and I became a soloist in 2011."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Dores keeping it cool in her patterned 'fit.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Why did you choose 20th Century cafe as one of your picks for favorite Hayes Valley spots, what do you love about it?
"It’s just a beautiful space, and the owner is very sweet, and…the cake."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
How would you describe your personal style?
"Black. Also, jumpers and lots of color. I know — it depends on the personality I wake up with."

Turning heads at 20th Century Cafe in a Cameo romper purchased at Acrimony, Dolce Vita shoes, In God We Trust bracelet, grandmother's coat and bag, and ring made by a friend.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Dores puts her best foot forward in some hot steppers.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Who are your fashion icons and inspirations?
"Shirley Maclaine in 'What a Way to Go!' is my number one. Also, so is Punky Brewster, Wednesday Addams, Cara Delevingne, Diane Keaton. And, my mom."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
What three items of clothing in your closet get the most wear?
"Rompers. I tend to wear the same pair of shoes until they have holes in them, so whichever pair that is at the moment. And, my male roommate’s ripped up T-shirts."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
What do you love most about Hayes Valley?
"I love looking at expensive shoes that I try not to buy (and end up buying). I’ve worked in Hayes Valley for basically a decade now, so I love the merchants and neighbors who’ve been around for a while. It’s its own small town, from Nabilaz to the African Shop, and I really like the community best."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
What are some of your favorite brands?
"That I can afford: Cameo, Jeffrey Campbell, To Be Announced. That I can't afford: Givenchy, Balmain, Alexander McQueen."

Dores looking mighty sweet in a Cameo romper purchased at Acrimony, Huf beanie, Jeffrey Campbell shoes, ASOS bracelet, and Purificación Garcia purse while browsing Miette.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Hats off to this lady!
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
What does a typical day like for you when you're in the middle of a ballet season?
"Wake up sort of, wake up actually, drag my ass to work at 9 a.m., warm up for class at 10 a.m., hopefully a break around 2:30 p.m., rehearsal until 5:30 or 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m., home at 11 p.m., attempt to watch Breaking Bad, fail, fall asleep, do it again."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
We love that you took us both a candy shop. Why Miette? Is candy one of your vices? What are some other guilty pleasures?
"I like the colors best, really. The shop makes me feel like I’m home in Spain. Also, it has great licorice. And, I fucking love licorice. It’s just nice and I like the girl and she comes to the ballet and she has all these '50s dresses. Guilty pleasures: I absolutely crush TV shows. I just finished Stephen Hawking’s Into the Universe. I watched 13 hours in two days."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
What is the biggest misconception about ballerinas?
"That we’re fragile. I think we’re actually quite strong, both physically and mentally. We’re self-obsessed and we’re weird, but it’s hard to do what we do and wear a smile on your face onstage. "
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Where can we find you when you're not dancing?
"Have I mentioned that I love watching TV shows? I sound like I don’t have friends. Painting at my friend Charley’s house, doing arts and crafts, hanging with my male rent partner, and starting dance parties but then leaving early because I wore the wrong shoes. I’m also something of a K1 Go Kart addict. I’ve been once, we went for my birthday, and I got last place."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Do you ever incorporate your on-stage style into your daily life?
"I have this skirt that’s made from old Giselle tutus, and it looks like a long, romantic tutu. I wear it with a black crop top and a jean jacket."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
The ballet schedule must be pretty extreme. How much of your time do you spend in Hayes Valley?
"Most of my time is spent in the studio or the opera house. When I have enough time on a break I’ll sneak a cigarette — I’m quitting tomorrow — and walk around Hayes Valley."

Dores looking fly in Cameo overalls purchased at Acrimony, an American Apparel shirt, and Jeffrey Campbell shoes in Ver Unica.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
What was your favorite ballet costume and why?
"Chris Wheeldon’s Ghosts. Beautiful long dress, really comfortable, which is very important for us. It’s hard to be comfortable and look beautiful at the same time on stage. And then all the costumes in another one of Wheeldon's pieces, Cinderella. You could wear them to go out — same with John Neumeier’s Little Mermaid.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Another one of your picks was Ver Unica. You even bought a skirt during our shoot and used it in one of your looks! What makes this store one of your go-to spots?
"You always find something cute, it always fits well, it has great vintage, and everyone is super nice."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
A few vintage treasures at Ver Unica.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
We'll take it all. Thanks.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
What's next on the horizon?
"Nutcracker just started, so that’s 30 shows in 20 days. I dance the Snow Queen, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and a few other parts. I love that you can hear the kids in the audience. They’re so cute."