Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dance Manhattan


After 22 years in Chelsea, Dance Manhattan is no more as of this Saturday. Their landlord decided not to renew their lease.

Once again, the closure is not due to a lack of customers. The dance studio was thriving. Their popular salsa night with Jimmy Anton recently attracted 450 dancers. But the landlord doubled the rent and is seeking another kind of business.

Co-owner Elena Iannucci told me, "New York is not kind to dance studios any longer. It's the real estate market. They want a tech company here."

Back in the spring, Elena told DNA, "you have the Googles and the Yelps and the Yahoos…who are looking for space and they become the people that buildings like this one want to rent to and not necessarily to those of us in the arts who are providing dance to the public.”

She tried to find a new space, looking everywhere in town, but there was nothing affordable to be found, so she is forced to close. Many of the instructors will be moving over to the You Should Be Dancing studio. Some are flying solo, hoping their students will follow.

Tomorrow night is Dance Manhattan's final Open House Guest Night, a free social dance party from 9:00 p.m. until midnight. The dance showcase starts at 10pm--and there are free snacks. For $5 you get a dance lesson at 8:00.

On Saturday, it's the drop-in tango workshop. And adios.


sam_the_man said...

Hey, what's that? Something interesting and useful?
Fuck you get out.

Anonymous said...

...and the invasion of the robots continues.

James said...

The former "Dance Belt" which was at its apex in that general neighborhood in the 70's and 80's is now pretty thread-bare. The area was home to major dance companies and places which, yes, serviced ballroom and tap. Rent was relatively cheap. Chelsea itself was relatively cheap. So frustrating to see the character of the Isle of Manhattan being reduced to a collection of high renters offering high prices to high rollers.

Anonymous said...

How sad is this... not only an independent business, but one that promotes health, vitality and movement - dance is nothing short of enjoyable exercise. Heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

Look what the tech companies are doing to San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

Why don't techies like to dance, to see dance? They could take their damn selfies there and be a virtual social media smash.

How can techies tell the difference between their offices, their living rooms, their neighborhoods and their screens? They can't. Everything is becoming uniform and cold and glassy. Neighborhoods are just another App as far as they are concerned.

Wadjet Eye said...

Oh man. I am gutted. In the early-mid 00s I could be found at a swing dancing event 3-4 times a week, and I learned my moves at this place. God damn it, NYC landlords. "