San Francisco History

Dancing Class
circa 1907

by Pamela Schmidt

Pearl Allen's Dancing Class circa 1907

Pearl B. Allen was one of Gracie Allen's (The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show) sisters. To the best of my knowledge all of the Allen's were born in San Francisco. The three sisters (Bessie, Hazel, and Pearl) appeared on the vaudeville stage in an Irish dancing group called The Allen Sisters. Pearl was a dance teacher in San Francisco. My grandmother, Alberta C. Kragen, took dancing lesson from Pearl, who taught at 668 4th Street. I believe, at least this is what I remember my grandmother tellling me, that all the dancers in this picture are girls, although some are dressed up to look like boys. Alberta C. Kragen is the dancer on the far left. (As an aside, 'official' obituaries about Gracie Allen list her birth date as 1897 or 1902; but the truth is that she is listed on the San Francisco 1900 census, so I guess that settles that.)


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Picture and story used by permission of Pamela Schmidt.