NYC'S DANCE SPACE TURNS FIFTEEN.
With exposed brick walls, blond wood triple-sprung dance floors, five airy studios, and winding hallways decorated with plants and original artwork, Dance Space has taken root in New York City's once unfashionable NoHo district and become an integral part of the city's dance community.
Dance Space is directed by three of its original founders, Laurie DeVito, Lynn Simonson, and Charles Wright. In addition to running the school, each continues to teach, choreograph, and perform. "We wanted to have a space for dancers, built by dancers," says Wright, "and it was going to be beautiful and comfortable and open.
"We also wanted a place that would reflect the philosophy we had about teaching and about dance. We believe passionately about injury-free dancing and training--that the dancer's own body type should be acknowledged and saluted--so that you're not taking dancers and molding them into someone else's idea of a perfect dancer. It's gentler and safer, whatever discipline you're in."
The school offers 105 classes and serves 2,000 students a week. In addition to technique classes in a myriad of styles, the school offers yoga, Pilates, and massage and has plenty of floor space in its carpeted corridors for stretching or just relaxing. Along with classes, Dance Space also offers numerous performance opportunities--open to students--in conjunction with Evolving Arts Inc., its not-for-profit performance arm.
"What's exciting to me is to see that what we're teaching is not just something that was popular in the moment," says Simonson of the school's emphasis on safety and individual body type. "In fact it's drawing more and more students. We're bursting at the seams." Plans are already underway for expansion. An imminent move to a larger space (location had not been announced at press time) will allow Dance Space to expand with the number of dancers it serves.
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|Date:||May 1, 1999|
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