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New dance studio in Pigtown thinks Baltimore can dance

Don't let "Dancing With The Stars" fool you: formal dance instruction is not just for B-List celebrities and retired professional athletes, and it's certainly better to do than experience from the padded passivity of your couch.

Expressions in Motion, a new dance studio opening in Pigtown later this month, is making it possible for aspiring dancers to learn some moves -- whether they are 3 or 93. Kids are taught creative movement and ballet and tap basics, while teens and adults can pick from a host of classes in jazz, ballet, modern, tap, hip hop, and contemporary dance.

Owner Martha Reyner, a Baltimore native who studied dance at Columbia College in Chicago before returning to the area to run a dance studio with her childhood mentor, says the studio will resemble a gym in that adults can pop into whatever daily classes they wish. Reyner has assembled a team of a half-dozen dance instructors to teach the classes, which will cost about $7-15 depending on the package members buy. They can pay for classes individually, purchase a full ten-week session, or choose a full 30-week year.

Best of all, students get several chances a year to show their stuff. Reyner plans to host several "Open Marley Nights" (a riff on "open-mic nights" that alludes to the special flooring on a dance floor) where students will be able to perform for one another and perhaps students from other studios. She also pans to organize two large, formal performances for her students, one in December and one in June, at a local performance hall or school.

The two-story studio Reyner chose at 756 Washington Blvd., formerly a furniture store, has three studio spaces, a parents' waiting room, and a kids' lounge. Reyner, who says the grand opening is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 29, chose the area because she was impressed at how readily Pigtown is realizing its potential.

"Baltimore is my home, and even after living in Chicago a long time I wanted to come back," she says. "I chose Pigtown because I feel like it's a visibly growing neighborhood and it's kind of fun to be a part of something that has a lot of positive energy. People want to make it beautiful and nice and safe and I want to help facilitate that."

Source: Martha Reyner, Expressions in Motion
Writer: Lucy Ament

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