It is perhaps the nature of dance spaces to come, go, move, and grow, but the seismic shift of the pandemic era is still shaking out—and with all the recent changes, it can be hard to keep track. Here’s a summary of recent dance location news to keep you in the know.
Most recently, Massive Monkees’ studio The Beacon reopened on Rainier (near Dearborn St) after shuttering its International District location during the pandemic. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate their 10 year anniversary this month, and the studio is offering a full lineup of street-style classes.
NW Tap Connection and Union Cultural Center recently announced a future home together on the corner of Cloverdale and Rainier Ave S in what will certainly be an exciting hub of dance classes. They’ll be part of a new complex built by Mt. Baker Housing Association including 22 affordable housing units. They’re expected to break ground early this year. Read more in this article from South Seattle Emerald.
With the help of a generous patron and an art-friendly pastor, Whim W’him was able to purchase a church last month in the upper Queen Anne neighborhood to house their rehearsals, administrative offices, and a future school. It will take several months to build out. Read more in Crosscut.
Update 1/24: Dance Fremont’s long-time home on Stone Way is being redeveloped into a new building with improved spaces for the studio. During construction they have relocated to a temporary location on Greenwood Ave N featuring plenty of natural light, fresh air, and a modern HVAC system.
Some new openings include:
PNB’s Joshua Grant, dancer-of-note Christopher Montoya, and dance teacher/community member Sierra Keith opened Dance Conservatory Seattle this past year. An airy warehouse studio in the South Park neighborhood, the school focuses mainly on ballet with some modern offerings, and notably adult drop in classes most mornings and studio rental.
Abby Jayne DeAngelo and Guillaume Basso (both of PNB) opened Adage Ballet Studio on 1st Ave S, which specializes in ballet coaching and also does space rentals.
Yaw Theater (located in the Equinox Complex in Georgetown) added two new rehearsal studios to rent, both in SODO/Georgetown area on 4th Ave S in the old Magnum Print Solutions building. The building is slated for demolition in a few years in order to build affordable housing and permanent art spaces, but in the meantime houses a host of art studios, including the two newly built out dance spaces Pitch (larger), and Roll (smaller). The plan is for no artists to be displaced, so Pitch and Roll will continue in new locations at that future time.
Technically before the pandemic, but Christin Call of Coriolis Dance opened The Shed in Georgetown, which is literally a backyard shed turned DIY art space and private lesson studio for dance and pilates. The small but mighty space has hosted numerous unique performances and art residencies and is also available to rent.
Another under-the-radar studio to join the ranks is Aether in Lower Queen Anne. Photography studio and dance space, the light and lofty all-white space looks out over the water and is available to rent. Community classes such as Ballet Rituals have found a home there.
In 2020 Velocity Dance Center broke its lease after a decade in their home at 1621 12th Ave. It’s been continuing programing in partnership with other spaces around town, and has a temporary new home as a resident company in the 12th Ave Arts building directly across the street from their former digs. The 12th Ave Arts theaters are designed around play production, however, meaning they’re scheduled in six-week blocks. In response Velocity has shifted operations, moving away from a daily class model, but still holding festivals, workshops, and producing performances throughout the year. They’ve also doing co-productions with places like Base and Cafe Racer, so be sure to double check event locations.
Thankfully the old Velocity building is still a dance-dedicated space. Exit SPACE moved in just over a year ago, and have made several renovations to the building including knocking out the wall that separated the former Steward studio to make one huge theater/class space. Named as a “nod” to those who came before, NOD Theater is available to rent for independent productions and features a newly finished wood floor and permanent risers. The back studio (formerly Kawasaki) is now Studio Oakland. Exit SPACE also still runs its two studios in Greenlake, theNEST and Studio Sea, neither of which is the original Greenlake location, in case you haven’t been to class in a while.
Michele Miller (and beloved sports acupuncturist Heather Coyle) left Seattle for a new home in Vermont. Their Fremont space SHIFT Movement and Healing Arts is now in the hands of Derryl Willis. The space continues to offer martial arts and pilates, along with physical therapy by dancer Alana O Rogers, who also teaches some contemporary dance in the space. Update 1/19: SHIFT is looking for more dance artists interested in renting the space to run classes and are offering a new small group class rental rate.
The Can Can Cabaret moved into a larger space, still in Pike Place Market, and their old space is now The Rabbit Box, which is pretty intimate for most dance but could be the perfect performance venue for the right act.
Gone but not forgotten:
One of the first losses of the pandemic was Arcadia, home of the circus group The Cabriri. The circus and performative storytelling group had been there just short of five years and had done extensive renovations. The group is still performing and put up a show this past fall.
After 15 years of supporting experimental art, Studio Current lost its basement space beneath the Annex Theater and ceased operations. They had moved to that space (from 10th Ave) in 2016.
KT Niehoff’s 10 degrees, the dance residency and event space on 14th Ave in Capitol Hill, moved locations to an event space in Georgetown, which closed permanently this past fall. It had been serving artists for nearly a decade.