The new Seattle Dance Studio will be open on Sunday, November 14, 2021 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dancers who were confined during the pandemic can now step outside and explore the incredible expanse of space at the Dance Conservatory Seattle.
This new dance studio is the brainchild of Joshua Grant, Christopher E. Montoya and Sierra Keith. Located in the industrial area of South Park in Seattle, the studio is a huge space that resembles a stage. The 2,700-square-foot spring-loaded dance floor is almost as large as Studio C at the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB).
For co-artistic directors Joshua “Josh” Grant and Christopher “Chris” Montoya, Dance Conservatory Seattle is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Joshua Grant has worked with the world’s greatest contemporary choreographers and is recognizable in the dance world as a soloist at PNB. His professional ballet career spanned the globe for more than two decades. After Christopher Montoya received his undergraduate degree from Cornish College of the Arts, his focus shifted from being a professional dancer to teaching dance in higher education. He holds an MA in Fine Arts from the University of Washington.
While their dance careers have taken them on two separate journeys, their combined experience provides them with a wide range of dance styles and techniques to draw inspiration from. Their well-rounded approach emphasizes teaching dance and meeting the needs of each student, exactly where they find them and takes them forward. Chris said: “We want to create thinkers, not soldiers. Josh and Chris both want to encourage young dancers to become professional dancers, if it is their dream to aspire to the front rows. At the same time, the Conservatory offers many courses open to adults for people of all ages, abilities and body types. Eventually, they plan to offer a full ballet program for all levels, from children to older adults. Jazz, modern and yoga are also on the horizon.
The person behind the scenes at this company is Sierra Keith. Long known for her commitment to dance, she began her training as an adult. When the pandemic hit, all Seattle studios closed.
Sierra contacted Chris and Josh to ask if they would tutor her. His private lessons evolved into one or two other students, then more. Soon they had lessons in small groups. Chris and Josh have become their regular teachers.
Sierra remembers telling them, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this all the time?” Chris wanted his own place and Josh had always wanted to open his own studio, and they all knew so many people in the community, so they joined forces to create a great dance studio.
The studio is a former warehouse, but the minute Chris and Josh walked in they thought it was the perfect space and saw how it could be transformed. The choice of location was also a question of positioning. The southern end of Seattle, including White Center and South Park, needs better access to arts and dance education. The growing population of the southern end is culturally diverse. “We want to be available and accessible to people who may not feel comfortable venturing outside of their local community to expose themselves to dance,” Josh said.
The dancers, who along with Sierra had formed the small-group classes during the height of the pandemic, have now stepped up to clean, paint, renovate and help build a dance floor. Donations poured in to give the fledgling studio the appearance of a new home for the dance community
Each dance studio has its own culture. Open, welcoming and positive is the vibe at Dance Conservatory Seattle. Chris and Josh met while dancing professionally with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Meanwhile, Chris and Josh have danced together around the world and found a common life goal while working together: the couple married in 2015. “We have always had a great work ethic and an active attitude. that gets things done, “Josh said.” We believe our relationship provides LBGTQ visibility to the Seattle community and provides an open and safe space for young and seasoned alike. “
As co-artistic directors, Chris and Josh are responsible for curating the program and schedule, and implementing their own artistic vision for the studio. Managing Director Sierra Keith manages the accounting, software, marketing awareness, and the myriad of details that keep a business running day to day. Josh and Chris dreamed of creating a unique and wonderful space for anyone who wanted to dance. It brings them great joy to see people having fun as they move their bodies around in space.
OPEN DOORS SUNDAY NOV. 14
Dance Conservatory Seattle will host a Doors open on Sunday November 14, 2021 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will feature appetizers and drinks, as well as a silent auction and live entertainment, including a surprise sticker. The silent auction will include gifts from the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Whim W’him, Federal Way Arts Center, Brown Bear Car Wash, items from local and national artists, and more. All proceeds will be donated to the Dance Conservatory Seattle. Everyone is welcome. The event is free with a suggested donation.
An RSVP is required due to COVID restrictions. RSVP online at DanceConservatorySeattle.com or call 206-970-9510 or email: [email protected].
Seattle Dance Conservatory
426 S. Cloverdale Street
Seattle, Washington 98108
E-mail: [email protected]