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in the spotlight Nurturing Dance

GayleHalperin’s latest endeavor opens newdoors for the Dallas dance community. Literally.


the high profile dance organiza- tions and events thatDallas arts patronGayleHalperin has helped cultivate. Last year alone,Halperin steered the committee for the inauguralDallasDanceFestwhile also continuing onwith theBruce WoodDance Project’s (BWDP) fourth season after the loss of its founder a fewweeks prior to the company’s June performance. Halperin’s drive and intuition when it comes to the needs of the local dance community led to her being featured in TheaterJones’ first Forward Thinker Series inDecember 2014.Halperin’smost recent con- tribution to the dance community not only givesBWDP a stable home, but also provides dance groups in the areawith amore affordable optionwhen looking for rehearsal and performance space.


“My dreamhas always been to have a rehearsal space that trans- forms into aminimal black box theater that can be used for small studio performances,”Halperin says. “I like a space that can only fit about 80 to 100 people and hasminimal lighting and good sound, butwithout all the fancy trimmings.”

Pictured:GayleHalperin inBruceWoodDanceGallery. Photo:BrianGuilliaux

Halperin is turning this dreaminto a realitywith theBruceWood DanceGallery. Located at the corner ofHowell St. and Levee St. in theDesignDistrict, theBruceWoodDanceGallery occupies approx- imately 6,000 square feet of the 12,000-square-footwhite brick building.Right nowBWDP is only using half of the spacewhile the other half is being finished. The second space only became available for lease this pastwinter.Halperin says she hopes to have the com- pany rehearsing in the second space,which is 400 feet bigger than the first space, by the end of the summer.BWDP’s current space features sprung flooring, high ceilings, a break area and plenty of natural light. “We ended up goingwith this location because it had high ceilings, no poles and didn’t need a lot of finishing up.We saw a lot of spaces, and itwas quite difficult to find a space that only neededminimal repair.Wewere fortunate to find this corner prop- erty in theDesignDistrict.”

The process of finding a rehearsal space startedmore than a year ago,Halperin says,whenWood decided hewanted the company to

DANCE!NORTHTEXAS a publication of the dance council of north texas

start rehearsing during the day,Monday through Friday. “We always knewthat if the companywas going to go anywhere that it needed its own space. So, last yearwhenBruce announced that the companywasn’t going to rehearse in the evenings anymore Imade that commitment to himto find a place for the company to rehearse.” She adds, “Bruce always said that’s howheworked when he had theBruceWoodDanceCompany. You have towork every day in order for the company to develop a cohesive style and to be challenged to become stronger.”

The company didn’tmove into theBruceWoodDanceGallery till July 2014; onemonth afterWood’s passing.And even through Halperin’s name is on the lease she says thewhole project has been a huge teameffort. She creditsBWDP’sAdministrativeAssistant RebeccaButler for finding the space andBWDPBoard Treasurer DannyCurry formasterminding the construction of the sprung flooring. “Thiswas leap of faith, butBrucemade a huge impact on me so it’s allworth it.”

KatieDravenstott is a freelancewriter and dance instructor inDallas.Visit her blog

vol. 18 • no 3 Aug-Oct 2015 page 5

ruceWoodDance Project. TITAS.DallasDanceFest.Dance Planet. These are just a fewof

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