The Center Dance + Yoga Studio – which quietly began offering dance and yoga classes in the former Etta Mae Smith Studio of Dance building this summer – will host an official grand opening celebration this Saturday, October 7, at noon. Deputy Mayor for Integrated Development Sean Vollman will join members of the Kenmore community to help cut the ribbon at noon. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, The Center will host free class demonstrations and a fundraiser to help The Center upgrade its facilities and offerings. Last spring, after over 60 years of operation and a year of inactivity, the Etta Mae Smith Studio of Dance building was offered for sale. The building didn't stay on the market long, and its buyers only ever had one plan for the space to let their friend and longtime Etta Mae Smith student Gina Wilson continue to run it as a dance studio.
The Etta Mae Smith Studio of Dance name wasn't included in the sale, so Wilson renamed the space The Center Dance + Yoga Studio.
The new name helps represent the type of studio model adopted by Wilson which is one that focuses not only on dance, but on movement as a whole and includes yoga classes and drop-in classes where anyone can drop-in and pay for a single class as they wish. "It's an honor to build on the legacy of my teacher, mentor, and friend Etta Mae Smith and to offer not only dance, but yoga and additional classes in the same building where I took classes for nearly 30 years," Wilson said. "The goal is for The Center to become a resource for performing artists in Kenmore, Akron and beyond, and we really hope the community will come by Saturday and see what we're all about!"
The ribbon cutting ceremony will be followed by a silent auction featuring gift cards, gift baskets, The Center swag, items from local businesses. All proceeds from the auction will go toward facility improvements at The Center. The day will also include a series of free disco line dancing, yoga, and TikTok dancing demo classes beginning at 2:30 p.m. so guests can get a taste of the programming.
Josh Gippin, executive director for Better Kenmore CDC is excited to have The Center Dance + Yoga Studio on Kenmore Blvd. and recognizes it as an asset for future generations.
"The Center is a great addition to the growing arts and music scene here on Kenmore Boulevard," Gippin said. "And with Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts moving in just one block north of Kenmore Boulevard in 2026 it's really great timing for a performing arts hub like The Center to be here."
Wilson says she hopes people will come and experience all the new, exciting and creative plans she and her team has for the space.
"I'm just so excited to engage with the community to channel our shared passion for dance, fitness and artistic movement to ultimately create an inclusive space for everyone to participate."
The Center Dance + Yoga Studio offers a variety of dance, Zumba, yoga and movement classes throughout the week. Follow The Center on Facebook @thecenterdanceyoga and Instagram @thecenter_danceyogastudio for the full schedule and updates.