Hey Dancers! You're probably looking at this post because you've heard our announcements all week long and you want a little more information...
Well, here's the short version we've been telling everyone all week: our current lease is ending on June 30, and Michele has chosen not to renew. We are instead moving the studio to a space Nate and I have leased in the brick building next door (56 Arbor st). Since the new space is going to be a bit too small for our monthly dance socials, we're relocating these events to a dance studio we're renting from on New Park Ave (5 minutes away). Finally, the Thursday classes will be relocated to the Hebrew High School on Bloomfield Ave in West Hartford (15 minutes away).
We're going to miss the space, but we're really looking forward to the change! This is a move that we've been contemplating for quite some time. To be quite frank, the space was becoming a little too big to care and pay for. For the past six years, Michele has been paying for the space herself (it was very kind of her to let Nate and I use the space for free!) and it's a lot of money to commit to paying each year. For a time, I thought that maybe we could split the rent and bills three ways, but no matter how I calculated it (I had a little too much fun with spreadsheets), it was still quite a lot of money for each of us to pay, especially during those months when bad weather or the holidays will drastically reduce our class sizes. Besides it's a huge space to care for on a daily basis, and it's not in an ideal location.
That leads me to the other problem: the building. When we first moved in to 30 Arbor Street, we were fairly happy with the place. As the years passed, however, we have discovered there are more reasons to leave than there are to stay. Some of these reasons you already know: the bathrooms are always dirty and in need of repair, the parking is terrible, and the hallways are filthy. We have other issues as well, but suffice it to say, we no longer like the building and we want to leave. We really don't feel it is worth it to stay in that space any longer.
Which brings me to our new locations. Originally, we were just going to rent from various halls and dance studios, but that troubled me a bit; what about our private lessons? I was rather nervous about the idea of having to rent hourly for our private lessons, so I had the (rather brilliant) idea of finding a small, affordable space that would be available for a short term lease that Nate and I could share together.
Nate gets all the credit for finding the space. It only took him less than 15 minutes to find the perfect room advertised on Craigslist. It had formerly been a jazz dance studio, and it was exactly the size and price we were looking for. Better still, it was in the building next door! We jumped on the chance and signed the lease. Originally, Nate and I were just going to use it for workshops and private lessons, but, after touring the space herself, Mom decided that it was big enough for some of our smaller group classes as well, so the Sunday, Monday, and Tango Tuesday classes are moving in!
I have to say, the atmosphere in that building feels considerably better than where we are now. The hallways are clean and covered in art, the tenants are friendly and very happy with their current situation, and, best of all, there are clean bathrooms right around the corner from our new studio! To top it off, the management there is very nice and accommodating. They seem to really care about the comfort of their tenants, which makes me feel like we'll be very happy there! The new studio is about 1200 sq ft, a little over half the size of our current dance floor. It can comfortably hold a group class of 24 people. 30 people could potentially fit as well, but that will be a little crowded. (Our Sunday classes are averaging about 20 students a class, just to give you an idea of size).
This leaves us with where the Thursday classes and the monthly dance socials are going to go. Because these events are too big for the new space (Thursday's class average is about 33), we've found two other places to rent from: the Lisa Matias Dance Centre on New Park, and the Hebrew High School on Bloomfield Ave in West Hartford! The Lisa Matias Dance Centre is literally 5 minutes away from where we are now, located in an industrial park on New Park Ave. The driveway is directly across from the new Fastrack station near the intersection for New Britain Ave.. The buildings don't look like much from the outside, but the dance floor inside is huge and beautiful! Best of all, Lisa Matias is someone who knows Mom! Apparently, they were both teaching at the Masonic Hall at the same time. Who knew?!
The Hebrew High School was a place I found through a stroke of luck. Apparently they rent out their gym to anyone who wants to use it. It's not a wooden floor, but it's slippery enough for our needs, and at the very least it'll make for a good temporary solution. It's just beyond the University of Hartford on Bloomfield Ave.
So here are our new addresses, as well as photos of the new spaces:
Well, that's all for now! I hope everyone is as excited for the change as we are! Please feel free to post a comment below!