News: Sharing Space in the Second City

Many small and midsized dance companies in Chicago don’t currently have a place to call home. Some may hold rehearsals in one location and classes in another, with office space in a third. Available comprehensive spaces in the city are maxed out, and Lane Alexander, founder and director of Chicago Human Rhythm Project, has made it his personal mission to change that. His solution is a collaborative space scheduled to open this fall, where companies can share resources and work together under one roof.

 

The Collaborative Space for Sustainable Development (CSSD), a working title for the downtown Chicago facility, will house six residential companies—CHRP, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Ping Pong Productions and River North Dance Chicago. The 12,000-square-foot space will include offices, conference rooms, dressing rooms and four studios.

 

“Our goal first and foremost is to provide a high-quality facility for these organizations,” says Suellen Burns, CSSD program director. “The centralized location will be easy to access and affordable enough that groups can earn their own income.” Burns estimates that at least during the first few years, the resident companies will only utilize about 40 to 45 percent of the facility’s space, leaving all other studio hours open to rent by additional users.

 

Resident companies and renters will be able to offer tuition-based classes to the public in a shared environment. “They can benefit from one another’s audiences,” says Burns. “Somebody might come for a tap dance class and then see on the schedule that they can also take samba lessons. There will be an organic cross-pollination among the groups.”

 

Info: www.chicagotap.org

 

Photo: CHRP master classes, like this one with Jason Samuels Smith, will soon have a permanent home. (by Kristie Kahns, courtesy of CHRP)

Thinkstock

With Thanksgiving approaching, we're all ruminating on the things we are most thankful for in the world. Of course, as dance teachers, our students are always at the top of our list. They make us laugh, they make us cry and sometimes they make us want to pull our hair out, but at the end of the day, they are the reason for everything we do in the studio each day. To get you thinking about how much you love your dancers, here are five videos of kids dancing that are sure to make your heart happy! We want to see the dancers you're thankful for this season, too, so share your favorite videos on social media, tag us and include #gratitudedance in the caption. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
Thinkstock

No matter how hard I work to change it, I'm often told that I have a shallow plié. Is there any hope for improving the depth of my plié through special stretches to make it juicier? I'm doing a lot of exercises, but I don't seem to getting any results. Looking forward to reading your advice. Thanks!

Keep reading... Show less
Videos

When New York City–based dancer Dan Lai began choreographing Figure 8, he had a specific vision in mind. Inspired by a song by FKA Twigs, he wanted the movement to represent the music's "dark and twisted vibe." "My thought process was to make shapes and phrases that were abstract and unique that complimented the intricate beats of the music," he says.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Buzz
Thinkstock

Science has proven again, again that dancing is just, well, good for you. And not even in moderation. Like drinking water or laughing, there's no such thing as too much dancing. So, let's rejoice for this new dance perk to add to the list.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
To make dancers stronger and less injury-prone, Burns Wilson suggest adding floor barre or conditioning classes. Photo courtesy of Burns Wilson

With a career spanning 30-plus years in the dance field, Anneliese Burns Wilson has cultivated a unique perspective on health and injury prevention for dancers. From teaching ballet to teaching anatomy, she then founded ABC for Dance, which publishes dance-teaching materials. Now through research for her next book, which will focus on training the female adolescent dancer, she's delving even deeper into topics many dance teachers have overlooked.

Keep reading... Show less
Erdmann (left) on set for Hairspray Live. Courtesy of Erdmann

When Wicked ensemble member Kelli Erdman was training at Westlake Dance Center in Seattle, her teacher Kirsten Cooper taught her that focused transitions would be pivotal to her success as a dancer. Now as a professional, Erdmann applies this advice to her daily performances, asserting that she will never let the details of her dancing get blurry.

Keep reading... Show less
How-To
Photo by Nancy Adler, courtesy of Maria Hanley

When a principal, teacher, or parent walks into a room and sees 20 children rolling around on the floor and then leaping for the sky (learning about level changes), or jumping about like frogs (in a role-playing improvisation activity), they might not always understand what's going on. That's why Deborah Damast, clinical assistant professor and artistic advisor of the dance education program at NYU Steinhardt, offered up several responses as to why this type of movement—often a precursor to formal ballet/tap/jazz classes—is so very important.

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox

Win It!

Sponsored