The New Seattle Dance Studio is hosting an Open House on Sunday, November 14th, 2021 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dancers locked in during the pandemic can now break out 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 Seattle’s South Park industrial estate, the studio is a huge space that feels like a stage. The 2,700-square-foot sprung dance floor is almost the size of Studio C at the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB).
For the artistic co-directors Joshua “Josh” Grant and Christopher “Chris” Montoya, the Dance Conservatory Seattle is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Joshua Grant has worked with the world’s leading contemporary choreographers and is known in the dance world as a soloist with PNB. His professional ballet career spanned the globe for over two decades. After Christopher Montoya graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a bachelor’s degree, his focus expanded from professional dancer to teaching dance in colleges. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Washington.
While their dance career has taken them on two different journeys, their combined experience gives them a wide range of dance styles and techniques to draw from. Her well-rounded approach emphasizes dance education and meeting the needs of individual students – right where they can find them and move them forward. Chris said, “We want to create thinkers, not soldiers.” Both Josh and Chris want to encourage young dancers to become professional dancers if that is their dream of aspiring to the top class. At the same time, the conservatory offers many open courses for adults for people of all ages, ability, and body type. Ultimately, they plan to offer a complete ballet curriculum 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. She has long been known for her dedication to dance and began her education as an adult. When the pandemic broke out, all Seattle studios were closed.
Sierra turned to Chris and Josh to ask if they would be giving private lessons. Her private tuition evolved into a different student or two, then more. Soon they had small group lessons. Chris and Josh became her regular teachers.
Sierra remembers saying to them, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this all the time?” Chris wanted his own space and Josh always wanted to open his own studio and they all knew so many people in the Community so they got together to start a great dance studio.
The studio is a former warehouse, but the moment Chris and Josh walked in, they thought it was the perfect place 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 more access to arts and dance education. The growing population in the south end is culturally diverse. “We want to be available and approachable to people who may not feel comfortable venturing outside of their local community to get in touch with dance,” said Josh.
The dancers who had formed the small group classes with Sierra at the height of the pandemic now gathered to clean, paint, renovate and help out a dance floor. Donations were made to give the still young studio the look and feel of a new home for the dance community
Every dance studio has its own culture. The atmosphere at the Dance Conservatory Seattle is open, inviting and positive. Chris and Josh met while dancing professionally with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. During that time, Chris and Josh learned to dance together around the world and, while working together, came up with a common goal in life – the couple married in 2015. “We’ve always had a great work ethic and can-do attitude about getting things done. “Said Josh. “We believe our relationship gives the Seattle community visibility from LBGTQ and provides an open and safe space for young and experienced people alike.”
As Co-Artistic Directors, Chris and Josh are responsible for curating the curriculum and schedule and implementing their own artistic vision for the studio. Managing Director Sierra Keith manages the accounting, software, marketing and the myriad of details that keep a company running every day. Josh and Chris had the dream of creating a unique, wonderful space for anyone who wanted to dance. They take great pleasure in seeing people have fun while moving their bodies through space.
OPEN DOOR SUNDAY, NOV. 14th
Dance Conservatory Seattle is hosting one Open house on Sunday, November 14th, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event includes appetizers and drinks, as well as a silent auction and performances, including a surprise vignette. The silent auction includes gifts from Pacific Northwest Ballet, Whim W’him, Federal Way Arts Center, Brown Bear Car Wash, local and national art supplies, and more. All proceeds go to the Dance Conservatory Seattle. All are welcome. The event is free of charge with a donation proposal.
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, WA 98108
E-mail: [email protected]