July 21, 2013

Local dance studio in new location

PLATTSBURGH — A new and improved Center Stage is open in the City of Plattsburgh.

Heather Van Arsdel has moved the business to Suite 16 in the northwest corner of Plattsburgh Plaza. The business had previously been on Weed Street since March 2011.

“We’ve tripled our size,” she said, adding that she now has almost 3,000 square feet of space.

Enrollment increasing

Van Arsdel and the other four instructors have approximately 200 students, which is also about three times as many as in the early days.

“That’s pretty good, considering we only opened two years ago,” she said.

While hip hop is the signature style, Center Stage offers classes in ballet, tap, lyrical, jazz, salsa and Broadway dancing as well as gymnastics.

The new space includes two dance studios. 

One features marley flooring, a professional-type flooring preferred for ballet and classical dancing. It also has a one-way viewing window so parents can watch without bothering the students.

The other has wood flooring and is 38 feet long, so there is plenty of room for gymnastics routines. It has a closed-circuit camera that transmits to flatscreen televisions in the lobby area, which also has a built-in aquarium.

Center Stage also features a dressing room and office space.

Van Arsdel said her significant other, Nate Graves, some of his friends and his father, Brad Graves, did the renovation work. 

“They were so generous with their time,” she said.

Worked in New York

She estimated she spent about $15,000 on supplies, such as the flooring, mirrors and gymnastics mats.

The studio’s apparel store features a number of pictures of Van Arsdel in action with the New York Knicks City Dancers. She was part of that team from 1998 to 2004, and that experience is reflected in the studio’s orange and blue color scheme. 

Van Arsdel was also a Liberty Torch Patrol dancer for the WNBA’s New York Liberty during that time. She also coached and choreographed the elite Knicks City Kids dance team starting in 2001.

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