This displaced dance center is back on its feet!
Honchos of a Prospect-Lefferts Gardens dance school forced to abandon its classrooms due to allegedly rising rents are ushering in the academy’s March 11 grand reopening inside a brand new location with a week of discounted classes ahead of the event.
And the return of the school, which temporarily operated out of a handful of neighborhood venues after evacuating its old Rogers Avenue space last year, is a dream come true for students — and educators — its director said.
“All I can say is ‘Oh my God,’ ” said Karisma Jay. “I’m so happy and the kids — they’re so happy to finally have a home again.”
Abundance Academy of the Arts’s move into its fresh digs at 90 Sullivan Pl. wouldn’t have been possible without its network of supportive pupils and their parents, who continued to show up for classes amid the school’s search for another home, according to Jay, who said she officially secured the new place in December but necessary renovations delayed its big debut.
“One of big things about Abundance is that we have a very loyal family. We want what’s best for our community, and the students pour that right back into us,” she said.
Jay financed the move in part using donations received via a self-organized, ongoing online fund-raiser, to which do-gooders contributed more than half of her $50,000 goal by press time.
And in a show of thanks, she is slashing the prices of the school’s lessons for all ages — which include dance workshops in African, salsa, and ballet, as well as yoga classes, that typically cost $30–40 — to a special rate of $10 per session through March 11, to draw both loyal patrons and first-time customers to its new location.
“We’re not just a dance school, we’re an academy of arts that caters to different aspects of the community,” Jay said. “I want people to come and learn all that we have to offer.”
Jay, who said the thought of relocating her school daunted her at first, ultimately called its move a blessing in disguise, because the academy’s new home is nearly three times bigger than its old spot, and boasts a bigger dressing area, more bathrooms, and one space the old facility didn’t have at all — a lobby to welcome patrons, she said.
“I found it crazy. I really didn’t know what God had in store for me, but this is a testament to remain hopeful,” Jay said. “I was very emotional about it, and didn’t know where I’d end up, but I’m so excited now.”
Abundance Academy of the Arts [90 Sullivan Pl. between Bedford Avenue and McKeever Place in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, (347) 788–1069, www.abund
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