Popularity Behind Pasadena’s Lineage Dance Company Expansion into New Facility

Published : Thursday, May 9, 2019 | 5:41 AM

Innovative and evolving, Pasadena-based nonprofit Lineage Dance has outgrown its own popularity and is moving into a bigger home.

But the new home for the innovative troupe serves as more than a place to dance and take yoga classes. Lineage Dance is a creative space that represents a home for the creatives and fans of the performing arts.

“We’re in the middle of a big fundraiser and taking a shell and making the space a welcoming, warm home for the arts,” said Hilary Thomas, founder and artistic director for Lineage Dance. “Most of the work we do is original work that has been created and inspired by true stories. It’s a talented family of people that call Lineage their home and it seemed like the perfect time to launch into a new dream.”

Lineage Dance is a nonprofit organization that teaches dance and offers a range of programs for people.

Hilary Thomas, founder and artistic director for Lineage Dance

“I think we’ve been around now for almost 20 years and the family of artists who call Lineage their home has grown tremendously,” said Brian Elerding Lineage’s executive director. “We were busting at the seams and it seemed like the perfect time to relocate.

“We want to be a home for connecting to the arts,” he said. “We want people to feel they’re welcome. We want you to feel at home and powerful when you walk through our doors. We want people to feel they have a home as an art creator as well as observer.”

The company is in its interim home at First United Methodist Church in Pasadena, where it is presenting a modern adaptation of Pippin the musical.

Elerding said the “move” conversation started as the group neared the end of their lease at the last venue.

“We realized it sure would be nice to not have to choose between rehearsal and class,” Elerding said. “Having two spaces solves that problem and also allows each space to become more specialized; The new classroom is designed to warm and welcome with its windows and light colors, and the theater will be isolated from outside light and painted black to allow for a customizable performance experience.”

The Dance for Joy classes have grown from one class for five people, to six weekly classes, each with up to 25 people.

“That alone felt like a good reason to spend some time to design a classroom space that felt like an organic, homey space with a professional grade sprung floor and sound isolation.” Elerding said. “It was a combination of growth, perfect timing, and an empty space on the edge of two amazing neighborhoods that made this move possible.

“We started as a group of dancers doing fundraisers for nonprofits,” Elerding said. “Now we’ve grown so much we run programs, like ‘Dance For Joy.’ Our location in Old Pasadena was great but we were outgrowing it.”

The company visited several commercial real estate properties with certain square footage. But the new space fit the bill.

“Obviously we need wide open rooms and eventually we stumbled across the perfect space,” Elerding said. “It’s on the border between two great neighborhoods, Bungalow Heaven and Washington Square, so the neighborhoods are amazing. Also, there are 212 parking spaces, perfect for classes.”

In addition, there’s a 78-seat black box theatre in back and in front there will be classroom and rehearsal space looking towards the mountain. The location is 920 E. Mountain Street. The new space is ADA accessible.

Lineage Dance offers a range of programs and classes to the community and works with the schools.

“It’s also close to the schools and brings us closer to the students we’ve been serving,” Elerding said.

The new building has a separate rehearsal space, a lobby for people to gather in, and has enough room to allow for all of the programming Lineage performs.

Volunteers are always needed in all areas, Elerding said. For volunteer information email brian@lineagepac.org to volunteer, support or sign up for classes.

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