After 20 years of being shuffled from public space to public space, Robin Getter finally has a home.
"I've been teaching all over town," Getter said. "We got kicked out of the old junior high because of the noise of the drums (for African dance class). We get kicked out of the Depot in the summer because of the summer art show. Perry-Mansfield has no heat in the winter." She sighed a breath of relief as she looked around her new space. "I realized that at this stage in my life, I need a home."
Getter recently moved her creative spirit into the former Steamboat Pilot & Today pressroom. The bare white walls have been painted yellow and the space once filled with the noise and bulk of a giant metal printing press is empty except for the dancer's mirror on the far wall and a mini bar stocked with wine and beer for social dance events.
The only remnant of the old pressroom is a long steel beam connected to rollers on the ceiling. It once moved large rolls of paper across the room. Getter kept it as a reminder of the space's past, and plans to use it as an anchor for climbing ropes or for trapeze dance sometime in the future.
The space mainly will be used as the home of the Robin Getter School of Rhythm & Dance but Getter also wants to see it used as a community space.
J.W. Morgan and Polly Cogswell use the space on Wednesdays and Fridays. The bar and the dance floor are open from 8:30 p.m. to midnight.
Wednesday nights are Salsa, Latin and World Music nights. Fridays are for swing and ballroom dancing.
"My vision is to create a space for the community to physically, mentally and emotionally grow," Getter said. When dance lessons are not on the schedule, the space is open on weekends for parties, art shows or dances.
Every Saturday, on the first weekend of the month, Getter plans to host a singles night for people to come and meet each other. She will hire a deejay for the evening to play Motown, rock, reggae and "whatever people want to hear."
The space also could be open to bands that need a place to practice.
"The acoustics are great in here," she said.
The Center for Movement Arts started offering classes April 1. On the schedule is African dance, yoga, tap, belly dancing and 7:30 a.m. cardio kickbox classes. Getter also plans to add "Afrobics" on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7:30 a.m.
"You'll be done by 8:30," Getter said. "And you're right downtown, so you can grab a cup of coffee and go to work."
Getter's new dance studio/dance club is part of a growing business community developing along 11th Street, joining a lineup that includes a Pilates studio, a hair salon cum art gallery and several restaurants.
Getter found out about the space after the Multi-Media Group held a show there last summer.
"I'd been looking west of town, but most of the buildings are industrially zoned and very expensive," she said.
Getter approached building owner Brooks Kellogg with her idea for a dance studio.
"He lives here part time but has a real sense of community," she said. "He helped me make this happen."
Scott Ford at the CMC Small Business Development Center helped Getter write her business plan.
Getter wants the Center for Movement Arts to be a social destination along the corridor.
"I want people coming here to socialize and to feel the joy that physical activity brings," she said.
Most of the studio's classes are scheduled through Colorado Mountain College, but Getter said students who just want to drop in should call the studio.
Getter is a recent graduate of the Feldenkrais method of movement and plans to offer the healing classes by partnering with physical therapist Stephanie Loomis.
Feldenkrais is a slow, relaxing type of exercise designed for flexibility, balance and improvement of athletic performance. The method is skeletally based, much like Rolfing.
"It's like physical therapy in a classroom setting," Getter said.
Getter will host a grand opening at 7 p.m. Friday.