A new studio in Long Island City will provide a space for children and adults to explore dance.
The Jessica Lang Dance Center, located at 5-39 46th Ave., will officially open in September. It will offer dance classes for children as young as 18 months as well as adults and will act as a space for choreographer Jessica Lang to work on pieces with her dance company.
Lang, a Julliard graduate and Long Island City resident, said the growing success of her dance company required her to look for a permanent space for her dancers.
“The more successful we’ve become, the more we need rehearsal space to take advantage of wonderful opportunities we’ve been getting,” Lang said. “That transient lifestyle is quite difficult. It’s hard to find space that’s appropriate for us.”
Lang and her husband Kanji Segawa, a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, also wanted to give back to the community they live in, she said. Segawa will act as director of the space and also teach classes. The 6,100-square-foot center will offer classes in creative dance, ballet, dance fundamentals, Move with Me for toddlers and boys dance.
Adult classes will include ballet, dance fundamentals, dance fitness and a variety of cultural and folk dance. Lang said classes such as tango, salsa and samba will reflect the diversity of the Queens community.
More experienced dancers, such as college students and those looking for additional training, will also be able to register for choreographic and production workshops, master classes, and summer and winter intensives.
Lang will also hold open houses and studio showings to provide people with an inside look into her creative process with her company. Her company, Jessica Lang Dance, was founded in 2011 and consists of nine dancers with varying dance backgrounds.
She began dancing when she was three and took classes at a local dance school and a ballet conservatory. After graduating from Julliard, she danced professionally and transitioned into choreography. Lang has created more than 92 works for commissions on companies worldwide including Birmingham Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Japan, Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, among many others.
“I love the invention and the creative experience and exploration of space and time with humans,” Lang said. “The human body is just so expressive and I just find it to be the most fulfilling way I live my life.”
Lang moved to Long Island City with her husband in 2008 and her parents and sister soon followed. She said the diversity and culture in the area makes it an attractive place to live and a good place to provide her services.
“I feel like there is history to Queens, like a deep-seated history that I really love and I find there to be so much art and culture through the various institutions like MoMA PS 1, Sculpture Center, Noguchi Museum, Museum of the Moving Image,” Lang said. “I just found it to be a place where we could provide a really great institution.”