By Makeda Easter
2 September 2020
The announcements coming from L.A. dance studios feel eerily similar.
In June, an Instagram post from Pieter Performance Space in Lincoln Heights began: “It is with a heavy heart we share news of the departure from our studio home.”
In a July email to supporters of his Silver Lake studio, Ryan Heffington — the choreographer behind Netflix’s “The OA” and Sia’s “Chandelier” video — wrote: “Due to the uncertainty of our lives, both currently and for the foreseeable future, I’ve decided to take the Sweat Spot entity virtual.”
In August, after the announced sale of Hollywood’s Television Center, Edge Performing Arts Center cofounders Bill Prudich and Randall Allaire posted on Instagram: “We have just been informed that Edge will not be part of the building’s future development. … Their plans, combined with the hardship created by the COVID-19 mandatory closures have resulted in this outcome.”
The flurry of goodbye-for-now messages, combined with desperate pleas for support across social media and GoFundMe, paint a picture of a dance landscape in crisis. Without dance studios, professionals lose their places to train or work out new art before it appears to the masses. And amateurs lose their go-to outlet for creative expression or alternative to boring workouts.
Mandatory coronavirus-related closures have wiped out most income for dance studios, which rely on in-person classes, rentals and performances. And although many studios have shifted to online learning, it may not generate enough income to last through the uncertain months ahead.
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