Ward 5 Icon Raises Money to Keep Doors Open

Dance Place Raises money to pay off mortgage

The Dance Place is currently on a mission to raise money for their mortgage that will be due in September 2009.

Carla Perlo, director of the Dance Place said the company has currently raised $20,000 from residents, students, audience members, and fellow performers that have donated at least $20 to the company.

“The economy is in such a bad state, we may not be able to refinance our mortgage,” Perlo said. “Instead of waiting around to be refinanced, we want to pay our mortgage off.”

Deborah Timms, a local supporter of the Dance Place said that she donated $20 towards the company’s mortgage. “I have been following Dance Place for a long time, supporting their performances and I am pretty sure a lot of people will pitch in to help because they have provided so many programs for young dancers in the D.C. community,” she said.

Dance Place is located at 3225 8th St. Northeast and has been transforming the lives of many dancers and performers in the D.C. metropolitan area for over 30 years.

“We have been known as the hulk of dance in D.C” Perlo said. “We have nurtured many artists that are now national such as Step Afrika and the City Dance Ensemble.”

Gabrielle Spotwell, a native Washingtonian and senior dance education major at Morgan State University used to perform at the Dance Place as a member of the dance company, Tappers with Attitude.

“We would always have our end of the year show there and I loved it,” Spotwell said. “Even though it was small, the audience, the lighting, and the stage was always a nice place to perform.”

Donna Kenny, choreographer and director of the Dance Place’s step team said that raising the money is a great opportunity for the Dance Place.

“The money will allow us to make this small company bigger,” Kenney said. “Now we will be able to afford costumes instead of having to wear white t-shirts and blue jeans for the majority of our performances.”

Spotwell said the donated money will definitely help expand the Dance Place as well as help them reach their goals in paying their mortgage.

“The funds can help the company renovate the outside of the building to make it look just as appealing as it is on the inside,” Spotwell said.

Perlo said that she is working very hard to get the Dance Place’s mortgage paid in full because she wants to leave the company and the building to the next generation of performers.