July 20, 2022 By Christian Murray
A growing Sunnyside dance company is opening a 3,000 square foot studio on Queens Boulevard.
Dance Matters NYC, which was established by Sunnyside resident Mariana Sanchez in 2016, is opening a dance studio on the 2nd floor at 37-10 Queens Blvd.
The facility will consist of three dance studios, where she will teach a variety of dance. The space will also be available for artists to rent.
Sanchez anticipates that construction on the studio will conclude next month, and she will be ready to start classes for the upcoming school year.
Sanchez, who learned ballet as a child in Mexico City, has been operating her dance company in various locations throughout western Queens since its inception. Her company teaches students of all ages–from toddlers to young adults.
Her life story represents the classic immigrant experience. She came to New York for opportunity– primarily to explore the world of modern dance—only to build a business many years later. She also married a New Yorker, has children, and has lived in Sunnyside for 12 years.
The opening of her own studio space will at long last provide her company with stability, since she has been renting studio space from various organizations since the company was established. She rented space at Spaceworks LIC, which later closed, and then took space at The Q StudioLab, located at 41-20 Queens Boulevard, in 2017.
But the company has grown and with that the need for more space. She now rents space at three locations, Q StudioLab on Queens Blvd. as well as Suryaside Yoga and The Secret Theatre—both located on Skillman Avenue.
“We have been looking for a new home for some time and we found the space and we felt it was the perfect location,” Sanchez said, who says the new performance space will be state of the art.
“Everything will be housed here. This will be our new home and I won’t need to go looking around for space.”
Sanchez offers a number of a classes—including an after school and weekend program, typically attended by about 350 students. The students learn everything from ballet, tap, hip hop, modern and contemporary. The classes are divided by age—with classes for 2 ½- 10 year-olds, and classes for 11-18 year-olds.
She said she follows the American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum.
Her students also put on two performances each year, with the Nutcracker in winter and a Spring Performance.
Her company also has a program where her instructors go into local elementary and middle schools and teach ballet, jazz, musical theater and hip hop. The company typically teaches around 200 students.
Sanchez said she is also about to launch a program for pre-school kids–called the Studio Fine Arts Club—which she said will be an innovative, artsy and exciting day program.
Sanchez said she is looking forward to putting all her efforts into her dance programs and not having to constantly find space for her classes. She said she is looking forward to her new venue opening.
She said the company’s focus will remain the same, where its built around making her students feel special and building their confidence. “Our students are all unique and should express themselves. They should go into the world and be themselves. My aim is to enrich their lives.”