Young Dance is putting down roots and establishing a home in Co•Motion, a new center for movement and fitness organizations, in St. Paul’s Hamline-Midway neighborhood.
Programming at the new location began in fall 2019.
Since 1987 Young Dance has encouraged youth in the community to build body and spirit through the creative art of dance. For its 32 years, Young Dance has had a mission to transform lives through movement, through a youth performing company, weekly classes and community partnerships.
After years of renting space, Young Dance leaders and participants are pleased to have found a permanent home at Co•Motion, a new center for movement and fitness organizations located at 655 N. Fairview Ave., St. Paul. Co•Motion’s mission is to unite like-minded community partners and provide an open, inviting, safe space for people of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, shapes and sizes to explore different forms of movement and together, nourish the strength of their hearts, bodies and minds.
Young Dance had previously offered more than 15 classes a week in several different locations in Minneapolis. For some students this meant traveling to various places each week. The quality and accessibility of the studios and availability of parking varied greatly from space to space. These and other issues prompted the pursuit toward a permanent home.
Young Dance Company has worked with some of the leading artistic voices in the Twin Cities, including Ananya Chatterjea, Marcus Young, Marylee Hardenbergh, H. Adam Harris, Morgan Thorson, BodyCartography Project, Chris Schlichting and many more. Community classes are taught by a faculty of professional artists and educators and include classes for people of all ages and abilities from Dance Together (dance with a caretaker for children under age three), to all abilities dancing classes, as well as creative movement, hip hop, Haitian, West African and modern dance technique. Key partnerships have included Hennepin County Juvenile Corrections, Upstream Arts, Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts, Bridge View School, Hennepin County Libraries, St Paul Public Libraries and Highland Friendship Club.
The new space offers many accommodations for people with disabilities, including accessible parking, door buttons and accessible restrooms. Young Dance programming integrates individuals with and without disabilities as equal participants in the exploration, creation, and performance of dance. The studios have wall-to-wall sprung wood dance floor and are fully ramped for access at the entryways. The studios have dimmable lights and acoustic ceiling tiles to dampen sound.
Young Dance classes are staffed with teaching assistants to assure that all individuals can engage in the movement activities. The program is acquiring wheelchairs, walkers and mats for participants to use to aid movement exploration. Also planned are iPads with communication apps to assist individuals with non-verbal communication as needed.
Young Dance will provide ASL interpretation or audio description for any class, upon request.
Young Dance was awarded the prestigious 2014 Minnesota Sage Award and the 2015 Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Arts Achievement Award in recognition of their work transforming lives through movement.