The Tannery’s breathtaking, new nonprofit dance center gives a global spark to the local scene
The vision of the Tannery Arts Center as a creative mecca of Santa Cruz is about to be realized. Artists and their families have already been occupying the Tannery’s 100 riverfront residential units for the past two years. But now, the second phase of the project is drawing near, with the renovation of two historic tannery buildings complete and slated to open in 2012 as the new Digital Media and Creative Arts Center. Among the individual artists and art cooperatives that will occupy the 28 working studios will be The Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for many years,” says Cat Willis, the new dance center’s founder. “Two years ago when I found out that the Tannery was coming to fruition I was intrigued by the idea that it would become a centerpiece for arts and culture in Santa Cruz.”
The Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center will offer children and adults classes in dance from cultures around the globe. Diverse styles will include Afro-Caribbean, flamenco, Bollywood, hip-hop, ballet, Haitian folk, modern, Congolese, Senegalese, contemporary, Afro-urban, street method, urban jazz, tango, and Polynesian. Body-awareness, strength, and alignment classes, such as pilates and Feldenkrais, will also be offered.