Photo of the Dancey Ballroom on opening night, January 2011, freshly painted walls and new finish on the floor.
Dancey Ballroom Closing June 23, 2017
As you may have heard, the Dancey Ballroom is closing in June when our lease for the premises ends. It’s been over six years since we opened the Dancey Ballroom to provide more opportunities for people to learn to dance, to teach, and to share their love of dance. The past six years for us have been challenging, rewarding, exhilarating and exhausting, with many highs and lows along the way.
An early photo of the space before it became the Dancey Ballroom, January 2011
Over the years we’ve seen shy wallflowers become performers, we’ve seen dancers become so passionate about dance that they’ve become instructors and now teach and inspire others. And we’ve seen many people who have been coming dancing week after week, year after year, for whom dance and the social engagement it provides is a vital and fundamental part of their lives. For many people we’ve helped foster new friendships, new lives, and even some marriages.
When we opened the Dancey Ballroom in January 2011, it was with the vision of providing our dance community with a studio and dance space of the highest quality. A welcoming, fun, and reputable place to learn to dance, and a venue in which we could help grow Vancouver’s social dance scene. As well we envisioned a space in which dancers and instructors could have a home in which to teach, train, and develop their craft as instructors, choreographers and performers.
Bachata group Xtreme performing live at the Dancey Ballroom in 2011.
Compared to today, back in 2011 there were far fewer places in Vancouver to go social dancing or learn to dance. The idea of a dance space that was a hub for instructors and students to learn as well as practice dance at social events, had not existed before. We had already been organizing salsa events and workshops for many years and knew that we wanted to open our own space where we could expand our activities to offer more, and we had been hearing from instructors that there was a lack of studio space and places to teach in Vancouver.
Our 2009 April Fools Joke about opening a dance hall in Vancouver modeled after the concept of the classic Palladium Ballroom in New York!
The idea of opening a dance school and studio was something we’d been talking about for quite a few years before it actually happened. In fact, for those of you who were around back in 2009, you’ll remember we actually made an April Fools joke in which we announced we were opening a dance studio and venue. So many people believed it was for real and urged us to actually consider making it a reality, that it became the turning point at which we started to consider the idea seriously.
Over the last six years, we have seen our dance community grow, not only in size but in diversity. There are more instructors, more studios, more styles of partner dances, and more events for dancers to choose from. As a result it’s no longer practical nor necessary for us to continue to sustain a space as large as the Ballroom.
A young Patrick assisting Liz Lira in 2011 at the first of many workshops with international instructors at the Dancey Ballroom.
After closing the Ballroom we are moving all of our programs, dance classes, and social events to our second location: D2 Dance Studio, at 55 West 8th Ave. Many of the instructors who currently teach at the two studios will continue teaching at D2, and we will move our dance socials to D2 and continue running them there.
Our Friday night salsa events and our Saturday events such as SBK will continue at D2. We’re very much looking forward to continuing these events at a smaller and more intimate size. If you’ve attended our Salsa Soirée socials at D2, you’ve experienced the high energy and amazing vibe that can happen in a smaller space when you have a room packed full of dancers.
The first Friday salsa night at the Dancey Ballroom, January 14 2011.
Many people have expressed to us their sadness and disappointment about the closure. Don’t be sad that the Dancey Ballroom is closing; be happy and excited that our dance community is evolving and growing in new directions.
For us it means we also must grow and change in order to continue to provide our high standard of classes, programs and events.
Installing the sound panels. The Dancey Ballroom wouldn’t look as it does today without the help and assistance of many friends and volunteers over the years who helped paint the space, install the sound panels and curtains, and much, much more.
We are very grateful to the instructors, dancers and friends who have supported us along the way and been a part of our journey. We hope to continue to serve the dance community in more and different ways in the future, and hope that you will join us on the next part of our adventure.
So this is not the end, it’s not goodbye, it’s just time for a change. Stay tuned, because you never know what we may do next!
And let’s not forget that we are fortunate to live in a time and place where people of all ages and backgrounds can dance together without any barriers, simply for enjoyment and the pleasure of it.
#dancingmakesyouhappy. So keep on dancing!
With much love,
Jennifer & Stephen