Dance Party and Celebration Planned for Saturday, May 28

SANTA CRUZ — April 27, 2015 — The Tannery Arts Center, Santa Cruz County’s first-in-the-nation arts community that provides a sustainable, accessible and vibrant home for the arts in Santa Cruz County, announced today the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center (TWDCC) has relocated to the largest studio at the Tannery and will host a grand opening celebration and community dance party on Saturday, May 28.

A working home for professional, world and contemporary dance artists and a dance education organization, TWDCC now resides in Studio 110, a 3,200-square-foot space divided into three separate spaces for classes and rehearsals. The new studio, which opens onto the Tannery Courtyard and features a 1,400-square-foot fully-sprung maple dance floor and two smaller studios with Rosco flooring, doubled the space available in TWDCC’s previous Tannery studio.

“The additional space allows us to have more classes for students, community classes like West African and Samba, and private rehearsal space for the performing arts,” said Executive Director Cat Willis. “As a cultural center, we also host people who are rehearsing for theater and need practice space. There are a lot of mediums that can happen in our space — more opportunity.”

Willis said TWDCC decided to make the leap to the larger studio when the previous tenant, Five 3 Genomics, relocated. TWDCC still holds a lease on its former 1,621-square-foot studio, which is available for rent to other community organizations.

“One of the reasons I love being at the Tannery is the diversity of art made here,” Willis said. “Whether it’s photography, printmaking, bookmaking, the fiber arts and jewelry arts — they feed off of each other. We get to be inspired by other artists who are here. We serve each other as co-businesses and co-artists.”

About 250 children and adults currently attend the new studio on a weekly basis, including residents of the Tannery Lofts.

Christine Armstrong, whose family recently moved to Santa Cruz County from the Sacramento area, brings her 10-year-old daughter Maiya for classes at TWDCC and is impressed by the new space.

“We were trying to figure out where she would fit in. I finally think she found her niche, and I’m so happy she has found a place that she belongs,” Armstrong said. “It just feels like it is much more spacious. When I saw it for the first time, I thought, ‘Wow, this is awesome.’”

Striking eight-foot banners featuring dancers photographed by Tannery-based Devi Pride Photography line the wall in the new TWDCC space. Pride photographed the Dawson Dance SF crew after a recent performance at the new Colligan Theater, also on the Tannery Arts Center campus.

TWDCC Artistic Director Micha Scott said, “It feels very different not having to scramble for space. Not only can we have more students, but we can have control over our environment and access to it.”

TWDCC will celebrate its new space with a grand opening event and community dance party beginning at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 28. The event is open to the public. TWDCC is at 1060 River St., #110.

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About Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center

The Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center was founded in 2011 and opened its doors at the Tannery Arts Center in 2012. TWDCC facilitates a working home for professional world and contemporary dance artists while providing dance education that is committed to access, equity and excellence. TWDCC’s programming nurtures, promotes and supports professional and emerging artists from Santa Cruz and the Bay Area. Unique to Santa Cruz, TWDCC provides a platform for artists of color, artists using traditional structures in contemporary performance to tell their story, and artists looking to break through established forms of presentation. For more information about TWDCC, visit

About Tannery Arts Center

The Tannery Arts Center is a first-in-the-nation arts community that provides a sustainable, accessible and vibrant home for the arts in Santa Cruz County, offering visitors a dynamic cultural destination. The Tannery is home to Arts Council Santa Cruz County, Jewel Theatre Company and the Colligan Theater, Radius Gallery, the Tannery Lofts, the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center and Tannery Working Studios, which provides 27 separate studio spaces for professional artists to create, display and sell their art. The Tannery Arts Center is located at 1050 River St. in Santa Cruz. Learn more at or on Facebook and Instagram.