A Dance Studio in Harlem, a.k.a. the D.J. Source New York Medium
The first dance studio in Harlem opened in December, when an aspiring hip-hop dancer named Jessica Smith started work as a dancer.
A few months later, she was paid a $50-per-hour rate to teach classes in Harlem’s D.D. dance studio.
That same year, she took classes at a dance studio called The Dance House, which now rents out dance floors, studio space, and dance studio equipment to students who can’t afford it.
Smith said she’s glad to have her own studio.
“I like being able to put the money back into my own pocket,” she said.
“It’s like a small, comfortable apartment.”
For her, a dance floor and a studio are like a second home.
But for many other artists, the dream of building a dance house is a way to break into the dance game, a chance to work for a living.
While many studios in Harlem offer dance classes, many of them are not well-maintained.
One dance studio is a mess, according to Smith, who moved to Harlem five years ago.
Her studio is filthy, and she’s unsure whether she’ll ever make it to her dance floor again.
She has tried to get an apartment for her studio, but it has no air conditioning.
She’s frustrated with her landlord, who is the only tenant, and has been evicted twice.
The last eviction was two years ago, and the landlord told Smith that she can’t move in until she moves out.
After she moved out of her apartment in November, she got a call from a building inspector.
She said she was told that the building had to pay rent on her studio.
The building is a former apartment complex, and they can’t get rid of the paint, she said, and also cannot give her a permit to put up a new studio.
So she’s waiting for a judge to order the building to make repairs to her studio or allow her to move in.
“If they give me a permit and let me move in, I’ll be happy, but if I can’t, I’m not gonna,” she told me.
Smith has been waiting for this moment for more than a year.
But she said she isn’t ready to give up on dancing.
She told me she hopes the new studio will make her more comfortable with the industry, and that she wants to be able to move out of Harlem someday.
She also hopes that the D,D Dance Studio will eventually become a part of the Harlem dance scene.
“My goal is to get out of here,” she added.
But that goal has gotten her nowhere.
“The city is just a mess,” Smith said.