by Jennifer Kuhnberg
The very FIRST day of OnStage (Jan 2011).
Last season, we presented our company of 65 dancers with a "little" challenge: Help us raise $10,000 to put towards getting our very own studio space. We called it our "Find A Home" Fundraiser. It was a crazy idea, but it was something Kelly and I had wanted since the very first day of OnStage. When we started the company two years ago, we had no money saved and no investors, we each put in a couple hundred bucks of our own money to rent studio space and prayed that people would show up on the first day of auditions. Luckily for us they did, and OnStage has since evolved into something I am immensely proud of - a quirky, crazy, loveable dance family.
Within a mere SIX weeks of presenting the challenge, we reached our "Find A Home" fundraising goal! And then came the hard part, Kelly and I had to deliver on our promise. Cue panic mode! We never dreamed we would hit the goal so fast but we were determined to make this happen and live up to everyone's expectations. For months we met with countless realtors, landlords, and management companies, and searched the city for any space that would have us... for cheap... real cheap! We looked at an abandoned barber shop in Boston, a Veterans Hall with a built in bar in Cambridge, office spaces in Chinatown, weird and creepy basement lots near South Station, and dozens of other crazy spaces. Eventually, we were told by everyone in the commercial real estate world, that there was no way we would find a place in our time frame and certainly not within our budget. We felt defeated and I was not looking forward to telling our dancers the bad news. So we decided to ditch all the "experts" and go at it on our own. A week later we found the perfect spot.
I am thrilled to announce that OnStage Dance Company has found a home!!! The lease is signed, renovations have begun and we will open our doors on Monday, April 1st (and NO, that's not an April Fool's joke!) to start Season FIVE at 276 Broadway in Somerville.
The space is a dream come true for me personally, but also an enormous step forward for OnStage. We are extremely grateful to the studios who allowed us to rent space from them as we were first starting out. And now that we've established a solid foundation, having our own space will allow us to do so much more. No more rehearsals at 10pm on a weekday or 10am on a Saturday morning! No more bans on noise and tap shoes! We have a place to hang out and get comfortable - to rehearse, to create, to share in our love of dance and each others' company. The space also allows us to feature classes and workshops throughout the year from our own dancers/choreographers and guest teachers. We will also be opening the space for rent to local choreographers, instructors and trainers who would like to use the studio for their own classes, rehearsals and training sessions.
There are SO many people to thank. In no particular order:
Our fantastic Marketing Director, Jackie Simon
Our Season Four Dancers and Choreographers
Dancers who went above and beyond:
Kara Zabatta, Jillian Coen, Rebecca Omansky, Kaitlyn Webster, Amy Peca, Katy Wells, Jessica Muise, Shira Brenner, Jessica Luce, Jessica Czyryca, Melissa Gill
All of the family and friends that attended our Fundraising events and Performances
Jenn Walker and The Walker-Karaban Family
Maria Zullo of Miss Maria's School of Dance, Watertown
The Brookline Ballet School, Brookline
Sue Kunicka at The Studio: A Dance Center for Adults, Brookline
Gina Fay at DanceFit Studios, Brookline
Green Street Studios, Cambridge
We look forward to sharing this new adventure with you and hope you will celebrate with us on opening day. We will have much more information to come as we get closer to our Grand Opening and we look forward to seeing you all at our NEW HOME!
Go behind the scenes with our dancers and choreographers and get an insider's look into OnStage Dance Company.