New Business Alert: CityDance POP! Opens Tuesday

Don’t be surprised if your friends and neighbors start sporting some new dance moves. CityDance POP! is coming to Tenleytown this month.


Connie Fink from CityDance Ensemble

On the lower level of 4435 Wisconsin Avenue, down a stairway and through a winding hallway is the surprisingly bright and colorful new dance studio. Located in a former yoga studio, the new space retains the serenity of its former occupant, while injecting the energy one might expect of a modern dance space. Pops (no pun intended) of vibrant green and good lighting make this underground studio feel more open than one might first expect. Tenleytown, D.C. had a chance to tour the space and speak with Megan Piluk, External Relations Manager, at the end of August as the studio prepared for its grand opening.

Founded as a non-profit in 1996, CityDance runs several programs designed to bring the dance arts to the broader metropolitan community. These include free dance instruction for under-served neighborhoods through camps and after school programs, performances by nationally and internationally renowned dance troupes, and support for emerging choreographers to develop and produce their own works. But perhaps CityDance is best known for its dance academy at Strathmore, which provides pre-professional training to young dancers who plan to make a career in dance.

With the launch of its Tenleytown studio, CityDance intends to bring the same quality instruction provided at its conservatory to a broader community of dancers of all ages and skill levels. “CityDance will offer fun classes with really great training, but students can come in without any experience,” said Piluk. “Even though the classes are not pre-professional, it’s the same teaching staff [as Strathmore].”

Classes will range from break dancing to ballet, with more than 30 offerings on the current schedule, Monday through Saturday. In addition to more traditional dance classes, CityDance POP! plans to mix things up with special offerings, like a class for teens to learn the latest music video dance moves and keep up with trends. Can you say Whip and Nae Nae?

The studio will also focus on current fitness trends, with hip hop workouts for adults, as well as Zumba and core conditioning. Piluk was quick to emphasize that even those with no prior dance experience will be able to jump right into CityDance POP!’s workout offerings.

Creating a place for everyone in the community seems to be a driving force behind CityDance POP! Dance instructors have been engaging with neighbors to get a sense of what classes people want to attend, and have offered free Zumba, Mommy and Me, and Creative Movement classes at the local library to give residents a taste of what’s to come. The studio also joined with Whole Foods Market and Sport & Health to host a Rooftop Bash, treating attendees to impromptu dance classes on the roof of the Whole Foods parking garage, which also featured a moonbounce, free food, and cornhole games.

Executive Director Alexe Nowakowski has had her eye on Tenleytown for a while, hoping for an opportunity to bring CityDance to the community. “I live in the Palisades with my daughter Natalie who loves to dance. My neighbors and friends in my community would always ask me about dance classes for their children in the D.C. area since they knew about CityDance’s programming at Strathmore,” said Nowakowski. “An opportunity came up to open up a studio in the Tenleytown community and I couldn’t pass it up!”

For the past six months, as CityDance outfitted its new space, the Wisconsin Avenue studio has hosted emerging choreographers and provided space for artists to rehearse, as well as been home to summer community programs. With the final touches coming into place, CityDance POP! is preparing to welcome the neighborhood during its Open House.

From September 8 through 12, those interested in checking out the studio are welcome to try any of CityDance POP!’s classes for free. While walk-ins are welcome, prior registration is encouraged to reserve a spot. A full class listing is available online, as is Open House registration.

City Dance Open HouseClasses officially begin on September 14. Tuition for the 20-week classes ranges from $265 to $395; students can also purchase class passes for adult drop-in classes. CityDance POP! is offering a 5% discount for early registrations.

The CityDance POP! studio is located at 4435 Wisconsin Avenue, NW.

Photo credit: Paul Gordon Emerson (top)