Small Business

New Studio Uses Dance Education to Empower Students

Will Carruthers/Ingleside-Excelsior Light

Ocean View’s newest small business has a meaningful name. Studio 505 was named after the room –– Number 505 –– where the business’s owner teaches dance courses at Alameda High School.

After helping launch Alameda High School’s dance program, dance instructor Stephanie Craig, 34, has opened a new studio in a former office space on the tail end of 19th Avenue in Ocean View.

Studio 505 opened in late August. Craig currently offering a mixture of dance, yoga and martial arts courses, is to make students more confident in and connected with their bodies.

“When I was growing up, dance was therapeutic for me,” Craig said. “It helped me process the challenges I was experiencing, and it gave me a way to express myself. Dance helped me find my voice and embrace my uniqueness.”

After studying at University of California Los Angeles and performing for several years, Craig discovered that her real passion was teaching, not performing. She went on to New York University for a master’s degree in dance education.

Although Craig’s dance classes are all based on certain performance styles, many are geared toward exercise rather than training for recitals.

“Studio 505 is for people who value movement and the benefits it has on the body,” Craig said. “Our classes focus on connecting with one’s body and feeling empowered through that connection.”

After months of searching for a studio space, a former tenant told Craig that the space was open. Although she wasn’t familiar with the neighborhood, Craig closed the deal quickly.

The studio’s neighbors include a small law firm, a barber shop and a laundromat. A 24 Hour Fitness at Ocean View Village is Craig’s closest competition.

The single-room space features a wide black mat, a wide wall mirror and, unconventionally, a large fireplace. Although the neighborhood is known for its chilly fog, Craig suspects the fireplace is for just for show.

The gym has been quiet so far, with only a few people coming to each lesson, but Craig hopes to attract new customers with a low monthly rate of $59.

Most of the customers so far come from the neighborhood and Daly City, according to Craig.

For the moment, all of the courses are taught by Craig and one other instructor, who teaches Eskrima, a Fillipino martial art featuring sticks, swords and knives.

“This is exactly the type of small business our neighborhood needs,” Ocean View, Merced Heights, Ingleside Business Association Alexander Mullaney said. “Between its location among so many schools and colleges and the number of children and youth in the area, Studio 505 should be a great asset.”

Studio 505 currently offers jazz, hip-hop and ballet basics courses each once a week, while the Dancer Body Workout course is taught four days a week. Yoga courses are also taught four days a week.

Studio 505 is located at 4075 19th Ave.

(415) 729-5403


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