||July 24, 2008
Dear Students, Families and Friends of Dance Gallery Studio,
It is with deepest sadness that I inform you that all classes at Dance Gallery Studio will be indefinitely suspended after August 9, 2008. Upon thorough review of the studio’s finances, the board has determined that Dance Gallery Studio will not be able to carry forth its mission and sustain its programs for 2008-09. This is largely due to insufficient revenue to pay the rent and adequately support staffing and programming.
Our move to 815 Wildt Street in 2004 was an exciting and enormous leap of faith, accompanied by a six-fold increase in rent and accompanying maintenance costs. Since then, we have struggled to increase class enrollment, obtain performance bookings for Dance Gallery’s resident professional company, the Peter Sparling Dance Company, and raise the funding necessary to flourish and grow. When we made the move, we had no idea of the impending crisis in Michigan’s economy; we could not anticipate its disastrous effects on our ability to fund-raise and build upon our achievements and dreams.
Although we are extremely proud of the many artistic achievements and extraordinary studio programs we have managed to provide to you over the past decades, we have to “throw in the towel” and admit that the scale of our operation is no longer tenable. This is not the first time in our history that we’ve been forced to consider downscaling or closing the doors. I am personally grateful beyond words for the many generous donors who allowed us to remain open while enjoying the sunlit, airy spaces of 815 Wildt Street. It will be heartbreaking for me to no longer be greeted by the smiling faces of our young students when I enter the building or to see them dash into the large studio with unbounded glee in every fiber of their bodies. This is my deepest regret.
Despite having had some time to mourn the decision to close our doors, I still harbor grave disappointment that this would happen in our fair city. I know that many of you will share my disbelief and disappointment. In the end, I must take solace in the conviction that we were able to enrich lives, provide dance to a broad range of ages, audiences and abilities, and make Ann Arbor a better place to call home. Our efforts have not been in vain! Perhaps the dancing phoenix will rise again from the ashes. Until then, we are profoundly sorry to be unable to offer you classes at Dance Gallery Studio.
Thank you for your past support in our endeavors and for helping to make Dance Gallery Studio the unique place that it was.
Peter Sparling, Artistic Director, Dance Gallery Foundation
Inquiries regarding suggested studios and instruction can be addressed to:
Here is a partial list of suggested studios in the greater Ann Arbor area:
Randazzo Dance Studio, 4569 Washtenaw, Ypsilanti | 477-9350
Arts in Motion, 2841 Boardwalk Dr., Ann Arbor | 222-6246
Youth Dance Theatre, 500 Washington, Chelsea | 475-3070
Community School of Ballet, 617 E. University, Ann Arbor | 996-8515