Kathleen Hahn moved back to Asheville from New York City with a vision: to open a dance studio that empowers all dancers. When Hahn offered a free week of classes at her studio off Riverside Drive before the Thursday, June 23, grand opening of Danceclub Asheville, I decided to shake the dust off my dancing shoes and try it out.
I joined a group of 10 or so women of all shapes, sizes and abilities who gathered to groove to “SoulTrain Dance and Sweat.” During the hour, we worked together learning the steps, had fun pairing up and dancing down the center of the studio, and laughed as we attempted to copy Hahn’s moves from the 1970s. It was a fantastic cardio workout, and the time flew by.
“Being in New York was great for learning new things and for helping me realize how much I missed teaching dance and really enjoy working for myself,” says Hahn, who grew up as a dancer and received her BFA in modern dance. “Opening my own studio seemed to make the most sense and to do so in a place like Asheville that feels way more like home than New York ever has. A smaller, supportive community goes a long way when you’re opening your own business.”
Hahn says she hopes her new dance studio — complete with pole dancing, jazz dance class, “booty camp” fitness class and more — “helps break people out of their comfort zone and realize that something they thought they could never do, or maybe weren’t interested in, can and are [making it possible].
“It’s always good to do something different,” Hahn adds. “I would love to see lots of people getting stronger from pole dancing or feeling healthier from an aerobic dance class like Dance and Sweat. … I just spent the last year and a half studying pole dancing in New York, which became addictive very quickly.”
As I was leaving the SoulTrain Dance class, about eight women of various backgrounds and dance abilities walked into the studio, strappy high heels in hand, ready to learn burlesque dance. Hahn smiled, wiped the sweat off her brow, said hello and began to set up for the next class.
“Dance feels good,” Hahn says with enthusiasm, “and the more dance this beautiful town has to offer people, the better.”
WHAT: Grand opening celebration of Danceclub Asheville
WHERE: 9 Old Burnsville Road, Suite 3, Asheville
WHEN: Thursday, June 23
Ribbon-cutting by the Chamber of Commerce with food, beer and bubbly, 4 p.m.
Food, beer and bubbly continue to flow along with dance party, performances, a raffle to win free classes and a Danceclub membership, 5:30 p.m.