Friday, September 19, 2014

VIBE - Windham's new dance and exercise studio - By Michelle Libby

Two weeks ago Dancemakers studio closed its doors on Route 302 in Windham. The space was purchased leaving them without a space. Seeing a need for a dance/fitness space, Windham residents Darin and Dinah Aldrich stepped up and bought Dancemakers for an undisclosed amount and rented a space in the CN Brown building near Thai Place Windham at 851 Roosevelt Trail. The new facility is called VIBE. The former daycare and Halloween store will now have two 900 square foot dance studios plus an 820 square foot multipurpose floor for tap, jazz and exercise classes. There is also an additional space that the couple will grow into with fitness equipment and a small space for young children classes and performances. 
The mirrored wall separating the two 900 square foot studios will go in soon and then the floors will be added. The key is to get people dancing and exercising, said Dinah. 

Only having two weeks so far to get things up and running, some of the plans are still in flux. Nicole Getchell, who owned Dancemakers previously will continue to teach ballet in the new space and will assist in the transition, according to Dinah. 

“Dancemakers is training exclusively at VIBE!” Dinah said. 

The plan is for VIBE to co-op with fitness instructors from around the area to offer the community a variety of exercise opportunities. Many of the instructors are from the now defunct Rohan Strength & Fitness, according to Dinah. Classes from Zumba taught by Lyndsey Baker to bootcamp with Jim Gardiner and Yoga with Dominic Rossi will be offered. Don’t see a favorite class, ask Darin or Dinah. There will also be guest appearances from favorite instructors. 

“Everybody’s looking for space,” she said. “It’s wide open for whoever has an idea.”

Dinah proclaims herself as the creative director in VIBE. She wants to host women’s nights out glitz or burlesque for women. She’s also considering offering Zumba trainings, her specialty. 

Dinah would also like to see more interaction with other dance studios and possibly having a little friendly competition. “We need to foster good will between studios,” she said. She added that many of the local studios have been very helpful during this transition period. 

Darin is doing much of the work himself through his construction company. “It will have the same feel, we’re just stepping it up another level,” Darin said. 

“We’re going to infuse some energy in here,” Dinah said. 

Most classes will be priced by the instructors since they will be independent contractors, but Dinah said they’ll probably use something like punch cards for the affordability. “I’d rather have 40 people at $5, than four at $12,” she added. 

Classes have begun and will be held daily from between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 8 or 8:30 p.m. VIBE is concerned about other studios keeping the dancers out so late that there’s no time for homework or family time, not to mention sleep, so they plan to end classes around 8 p.m. 

“We want the kids to feel comfortable and at home here,” said Darin, who still has two school aged teenagers who dance.

“It’s going to be good for the community,” Dinah said. 

Darin was quick to mention how great it has been to work with CN Brown as a landlord making the transition much easier for this family and all the others who need a place to dance. 

VIBE will have an open house on September 28, but preregistration will be available on September 21 by calling 239-9401. Visit VIBE on Facebook.

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