Columns Dance and Wellness Centre Is Dedicated to Supporting Dance
Columns Dance and Wellness Centre Founder Sonia Plumb is also Artistic Director of Sonia Plumb Dance Company. MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price reconnected with Sonia to learn about the new dance and wellness space she’s opening in downtown Hartford.
NAN PRICE: How did you come up with idea for Columns Dance and Wellness Centre?
SONIA PLUMB: It had been in my mind that Hartford needed a space dedicated to dance, particularly modern dance, that also had a performance and wellness space.
I also wanted to start a school for dance, which I couldn’t do because I was on faculty at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Also, having my own space means I have a little bit more control to run classes, rehearsals, and showings. I’m not renting space from different places. I knew I needed at least two studios to run a school. And if I can’t set my own schedule, then I can’t run my business.
Sonia Plumb Dance Company needed a home and I knew the rest of the dance community needed somewhere as well. There’s so much talent out there. So, I wanted a space for the community, somewhere people could rent. I didn’t want it under my name because my work is my work and every other dance artist has their own work.
In terms of the wellness side of the business, the idea of integrating wellness goes way beyond just yoga and physical therapy. It’s about our well-being and mental health, which is now coming to the forefront. I realized if I recognized and needed it and dancers in my company needed it, then everyone else is going to need it as they grow.
NAN: Was it intentional that the space was in Hartford?
SONIA: Yes. I did my initial research and took surveys and even did some startup pitching which helped me decide, too. I knew I wanted it to be near the public transportation to provide bus or train access to the corridor coming from Springfield, New York, and Boston. And I wanted it to be near the airport. So, it needed to be downtown. A lot of dancers don’t have cars. And I want people to have access. This is a great place to be, right in the middle of downtown.
NAN: What’s next?
SONIA: I’m working with the Hartford Chamber of Commerce to plan a ribbon cutting in June. And then I have my eyes on a bigger space. That was the original plan.