Katie Clancy Takes Class and Writes About It
Katie Clancy for The Dance Enthusiast
Photo of Katie Clancy Dancing in Bill Young's Studio Courtesy Katie Clancy
The Class: Open Morning Class at Bill Young’s Loft
The Location: Bill Young’s Loft
100 Grand Street-2nd Floor
The Days and Times: Classes start at 10 am every weekday
The Cost: 2.00
What Katie Has To Say:
Congested on Broadway in Soho, I am overcome with a painful nostalgia for the grittier version of this neighborhood long washed away by elite boutiques and corporate headquarters. I jet past DKNY, Gourmet Garage, and Citibank to 100 Grand Street where I ring the buzzer of what appears to be an apartment building. Upon being signaled in, I ascend a rickety stairwell to find a wood-floor gallery about sixty feet wide, with a wall of mirrors and curtains. The place is decorated with dance regalia and possesses a true lived-in feeling.
Welcome to Bill Young’s Loft. (Deep breath.) I am home, reunited with modern day funk and creative dance collaborators.
Coming here for the first time was a bit of a gamble—I had nothing to prove the space existed other than recommendations from a friend. (Most of the studio’s business is word of mouth, although you will see flyers posted in other venues around town from time to time.) Once you’ve discovered the classes, you feel part of a secret society.
Whether it is a morning of Bill Young’s contact improv or Jennifer Nugent’s complicated inversions, there is an aura of experimentation and support. Great teachers, all from the downtown vein come to work for several days or a full week. In addition to Young, and Nugent, you may encounter Luis Lara Malvacias, Alexandra Beller, Keith Thompson, or Jimena Paz . The group energy is playful and curious. Both teachers and students come to share their passion and begin the day afresh. And, what a blessing to have found a studio where I don’t feel claustrophobic in an overcrowded class.
After class, there is time to stretch and rejuvenate, talk (everyone gets to know each other and swap information about upcoming shows) or simply watch the sunlight stain the old rusty fire escapes outside.
Every Friday, the loft opens to performances in a series called LIT (Loft Into Theater). Pay 5.00(2.00 for students) to see experimental work by the space’s teachers and Bill Young/ Colleen Thomas and Dancers Company members.