The Dance Hub celebrates its unique institution
THE DANCE HUB: UP CLOSE
When: 2 p.m., Sunday, April 28
Where: The Dance Hub, 22. E. Victoria St.
Information: dancehubsb.org or (805) 450-7535
The Dance Hub sits on a quiet stretch of historic buildings along Victoria Street, next to a housing recovery program and in the former space of a fabric store. From the outside it looks like a small Pilates studio (which, in part it is). You wouldn’t know that on the other side of the wall of the activities happening within, the adults moving and learning to dance on a specially made floor. Since 2017, Carrie Diamond’s Dance Hub has filled the gap between teen and semi-pro dance studios and adult education classes.
“Space is limited for artists in this community and expensive,” Diamond says. “There’s not enough space for dance. We also knew we needed classes for the adult community…Kids are not the only ones who need opportunity for movement, and things to do other than, you know, wine bars.”
On April 28, Sunday afternoon, the Hub will celebrate two-something years in its spot with an afternoon of performance, live music, and some audience participation. Diamond’s hub is about giving space to artists to ply their craft in a city where workspace is notoriously scarce. The afternoon is a thank-you from four of her “renters.”
To prove Diamond’s point about demand, her own Adult Ballet for Absolute Beginners class is now one of the Hub’s most popular. It is through learning basic moves that adults get to reconnect with their bodies in the most basic of ways, from crossing the room to bending and just exploring movement.
“Our goal is to bring people back to dance,” Diamond says. “Because it is beneficial for so many people, and the benefits are endless.”
The afternoon features work from Stephanie Miracle, Weslie Ching, Juli Farley, and Christiana Thompson.
Miracle creates modern, contemporary work and will be performing a solo piece; Wesley Ching has performed in many places around town—she was the mind behind “Crit 1” at Center Stage, and now is bringing a work for two dancers that she brought to Nebula last year and has been steadily tweaking since. Farley is new to town, hailing from Chicago, and has been dancing in Meredith Cabaniss’s SELAH ensemble. (“I saw her perform there and she just stood out,” Diamond says.) She is also performing a solo piece, which includes a lot of floor work. Thompson is different from all three—she will be performing “tribal fusion”, a mix of belly dance and a particularly California aesthetic.
“She seems like the real deal to me,” Diamond says, “It’s so sensual.”
Also for Sunday afternoon: a performance of Ravel’s “Sonatine” by Eric Valinsky on piano and Adelle Rodkey on oboe, and a demonstration by Diamond herself.
Ultimately, Diamond wants people to catch the bug and realize that making that first step back into dance (or for the first time into dance) isn’t a scary thing or a huge leap.
“We want to bring people in and we want them to stay.”