Brookland DC Dance Center Expansion Begins in August
Dance Place has launched its Moving Forward Campaign to expand its current space at 3225 8th St. NE. Renovations start Aug 15.
Dance Place formed a partnership with Brookland Artspace Lofts to complete a two-phase renovation plan, which will create a unique arts complex. Phase one, the mixed-use Artspace Lofts, is already complete. This phase allows Dance Place to use Artspace’s facilities for children’s classes as well as office space and intern housing.
Artspace Lofts, which is located next door to Dance Place, contains 39 apartment units available to artists and their families. In phase two of the renovation plan, Dance Place and Arts Space Lofts will work together to raise funds for an expansion of Dance Place’s existing theater and create an outdoor performance area.
Dance place currently has two-in house studios, including a large theater that seats 155 people. Weekly performances are held there.
“We are mostly renovating the inside and doing a small expansion,” said Carolyn Kamrath, communications director at Dance Place. “Because of our property lines we can’t expand too much, but we are going to be bumping out the back of the building and double the size of the dressing room, and above that we will build a third studio.”
Dance Place will re-open with a grand opening weekend March 15, 2014. During renovations, Dance Place will still have classes in the Brookland Artspace Lofts and will use another venue on 8th Street for adult classes.
Dance Place is a center for dance that has been in D.C. for 32 years. It offers performances every weekend, classes for adults and children and youth education programs. Located in the Brookland area in Northeast D.C., Dance Place was chosen as one of the best small charities in the Washington, D.C., region by the Catalogue for Philanthropy for Greater Washington.
“I have taken a few classes at Dance Place,” said Tyler Tiwari, a student at University of Marlyand. “Although I am not an avid dancer the class was fun and it was a good experience. I would recommend it to other people.”
“We see ourselves as having three prongs, we are a theater, a dance school and we are a provider of youth programs,” said Kamrath, communications director at Dance Place.
Dance place is community-oriented providing “in-reach” and “out-reach” programs for the D.C. youth.
Dance Place’s “in-reach” programs called Energizers, provide homework help, life skills teaching and a five-week-long summer camp.
“The after school club meets five days a week, they do homework help and a whole variety of things in additions to dance,” said Kamrath. “We also have a junior staff program for teenagers, that specifically focused on job skills, as well as taking arts elective classes.”
In addition, Dance Place also has “out-reach” programs, which Dance Place’s in- house companies perform at various schools.
Dance Place has three active dance companies. Carla and Company, a modern and contemporary group, Cobaya Dance Theater, an African dance group and Dance Place Step Team, which is made up of children ages six and up.
Dance Place offers performances every weekend from different dance companies and performers. April 13, Dance Place will feature a performance by the Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company. The piece blends Bharata Natyam and modern dance, creating a unique fusion between the two styles.
“We are definitely the most prolific dance presenter in the city, lots of other venues do present dance, but we present 45 weeks a year of dance,” said Kamrath. “We are really a home for a lot of local dance artist and we provide them a low cost option.”